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Ms. U Bowling Pageant & Bowlibining Pilipinas scheduled on Dec. 7

TLF SHARE scheduled a bowling pageant on December 7, from 4:00 PM at the Coronado Lanes, 4/F Starmall, EDSA (beside MRT Station), Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. While winning – and getting that crown – may be everyone’s goal, Dennis Corteza says that “that’s but part of it. Winning is not everything. It’s having fun while not winning,” he laughs. “So come join us.”

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Ms-U1

To prove that “there’s more fun out there,” TLF SHARE has scheduled the 2014 Ms. U Bowling Pageant and Bowlibining Pilipinas – a mash-up of a bowling tournament and a beauty contest, making it a not-so-ordinary sports tournament.

Dubbed as the “bowling pageant”, Ms. U and Bowlibining Pilipinas will be held at the Coronado Lanes, 4/F Starmall, EDSA (beside MRT Station), Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City on Dec. 7, Sunday, from 4:00 PM.

Ms-U2LOOKING BACK

Ms. U started in 2000, initially as part of The Library Foundation’s sports event and celebration of Pride month (June), then eyeing to build camaraderie for TLF SHARE’s participants and their friends.

In the tournament, teams of four bowlers competed wearing their own uniforms or costumes. Additional points went to teams with costumes. Elimination round consisted of three games, and then the top five teams competed in the final round. In the final round, the scores reverted back to zero, similar to the scoring system in beauty pageants.

Because of the success of the first tournament, when 16 teams joined, Bowlibining Pilipinas was born in the same year (December 2000). This was different from Ms. U since Bowlibining Pilipinas was an individual competition. The top five winners were given titles –Bowlibining Pilipinas Universe, World, International, Tourism, and the first runner-up.

The twice-a-year tournaments lasted from 2000 to 2007.

Even if the tournament disappeared for seven years, there have been spin off tournaments, such as Volleybining Pilipinas (volleyball) in Puerto Galera, and Billiardbining Pilipinas (billiards). The organizing group of the tournament also hosted The Straits Games Manila 2013.

This year, TLF SHARE is bringing back the tournaments.

“This time TLF SHARE would like to revive the sleeping giant – parang Godzilla lang (just like Godzilla),” beamed Dennis Corteza, who is helping organize this year’s tournament. “Para siyang reunion a.k.a throwback. We’re trying to tap again the past TLF SHARE participants, bowlers, and their friends (new and old). And we hope to get new breed of participants, especially the younger ones. There’s more fun out there. Go out and bowl. Let’s show the whole world that we are really more fun. Plus hindi pa tayo extinct (we’re not yet extinct). And labanan ang rayuma (fight rheumatism) – stretch-stretch ‘pag may time.”

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FUN GATHERING

The bowling pageant is open to all TLF SHARE participants and non-participants (girl, boy, bakla, tomboy, transgender, et cetera). The Ms. U is for the team competition (three players) and Bowlibining Pilipinas is for the individual competition.

Ms-U3The gathering, said Corteza, spells fun.

In the introduction of the teams/candidates, the approach is similar to beaucon (beauty pageants), complete with the parade of the candidates (or representatives) and the narrating of mottos. And so expect versions of the witty one-liners, like: “I believe in the saying: ‘Break the glass in case of emergency.’; ‘Keep of the grass.’; and ‘Aanhin pa ang damo kung kinain ko na ang kabayo.’ – some of those that were used in the past.

There is a registration fee of P100 per player (for three games), exclusive of shoe rental (P35). Limited slots (14 teams/42 bowlers) are available for the discounted fee.

Individual players can form a team before the games. TLF SHARE committee may assist individual players form their teams (kindly inform TLF SHARE before the competition). Individual players without a team can vie for the Bowlibining Pilipinas titles.

A default score of 75 pinfalls will be given to each absent player in a game. Once the first player of the opposing team rolls the first ball of the third frame, the team that has not completed its three-player line-up will receive the 75-pinfall default score for every missing player.

Also for fun, love notes will be read during the tournament. Individuals can pay a certain amount –P5 for confidential messages to one’s crush, with the note delivered in private to the person; and P20 for public announcement. While this has served as fundraising activity, it also helped others find love in the past. “Meron naging mag-lovers because of the love notes (There were men who became lovers because of the love notes),” Corteza smiled.

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THE OTHER (WO)MAN

Substitutes are allowed, just inform the sports committee before the second game. A fee of P100 per substitute will be charged. Substitutes will only be allowed to play if and when one of the players of the team cannot play due to the following: injury, illness, pregnancy, going to join other beaucons, and other valid reason/s deemed acceptable by the TLF SHARE committee. It is understood that once a substitute is called, he/she replaces the regular player for the duration of the bowling pageant.

No substitutions are allowed during the game. A player who cannot continue playing the game due to extreme circumstances (i.e. pregnancy) will retain his/her score from the time of his/her pull-out or will be given a default score of 75 pinfalls whichever is higher. Teams should report player pull-outs to TLF SHARE committee for evaluation

As per Corteza, “kahit fun siya, sa scoring very strict (even if it’s fun, the scoring is very strict). We adapt the international scoring system. May additional pins lang for the special awards.”

CROWING GLORY

All players for the Ms. U are automatically qualified for the Bowlibining Pilipinas titles. Subs are not qualified for Bowlibining Pilipinas titles.

The top five scoring teams; and the top five individual players will be awarded.

Ms. U 2014 awards:

  1. Ms. U 2014 (Bongga, congrats!)
  2. 1st Runner-up (The role is very important – Chos!)
  3. 2nd Runner-up (Uy umaasa?)
  4. 3rd Runner-up (More power po)
  5. 4th Runner-up (Walang himala ‘day)

Bowlibining Pilipinas awards:

  1. BowlibiningPilipinas Universe (highest score of 3 games)
  2. BowlibiningPilipinas International (2nd place)
  3. BowlibiningPilipinas World (3rd place)
  4. BowlibiningPilipinas Supranational (4th place)
  5. BowlibiningPilipinas Tourism (5th place)
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Additional scores/special award in the Ms. U is not counted for the total of the Bowlibining Pilipinas scores.

“In case of a tie, we will have a question and answer portion,” Corteza said.

There will also be special awards for the Ms. U team:

  1. Best in costume. +10 pins/team. Team effort.
  2. Ms. Talent. +10 pins/team. One representative per team.
  3. Ms. Photogenic +10 pins/team. One or more representative/s
  4. Ms. Friendship +10 pins/team. Team effort.

In the past, for Ms. Talent, a representative from the teams were asked to bowl while also doing a surprise task. Some of these tasks included: bowling while blindfolded, bowling while wearing a big wig covering the face, and bowling while wearing an 11-kilo ballgown. “Bowl for your life drama,” Corteza shared. “The winner got 10 additional pins for his/her team.”

Also in the past, other special awards included Ms. Panama Canal (most canal shots a.k.a. O pins); Ms. Strike a Pose (most strikes); and Ms. Surigao (he/she who shouts the loudest).

Prizes include trophies, crowns, scepters, sash, dolls, and most of all, the prestige that goes with the title.

While winning – and getting that crown – may be everyone’s goal, Corteza said that “that’s but part of it. Winning is not everything. It’s having fun while not winning,” he laughed. “So come join us.”

To join Ms. U and Bowlibining Pilipinas, register at http://goo.gl/forms/NcmSNPBH3U.

NEWSMAKERS

SM Supermalls to install gender-neutral restrooms starting this November

SM Supermalls will begin installing all-gender restrooms in its malls starting this November. The move will be first done in malls in Metro Manila, including SM Mall of Asia, SM City North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM Aura Premier and The Podium; as well as at SM Seaside City Cebu.

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Real move for inclusion; or mall-versus-mall PR effort targeting the pink peso?

Months after Araneta Center’s Farmers Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City figured in a much-hyped controversy for refusing to allow a transgender woman to use a toilet befitting her gender identity, SM Supermalls announced that it will begin to install all-gender restrooms in its malls starting this November.

The move will be first done in malls in Metro Manila, including SM Mall of Asia, SM City North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM Aura Premier and The Podium; as well as at SM Seaside City Cebu.

The move, according to a statement released by the giant company, is a “leap towards a more gender-inclusive community”, as SM Supermalls aims to “continue to provide a safe community space that advocates inclusivity, equality, and respect for all regardless of gender expression, identity, or sexual orientation.”

“With inclusivity and innovation at the core of everything we do, we endeavor to create spaces where all shoppers are welcome,” SM Supermalls COO Steven Tan was quoted as saying.

The all-gender restroom will be a new facility in addition to the male, female, and PWD restrooms in these malls.

The effort may be commendable, but SM Supermalls is not always on the side of what’s right. In 2015, for instance, its establishment in Baguio City, SM Baguio, cut 60 trees surrounding the mall for its expansion, including to build additional parking.

SM Supermalls is also infamous for practicing contractualization – i.e. not regularizing its employees, thus failing to give many security of tenure and benefits.

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Positive family relationships linked with lower levels of depressive symptoms

Positive family relationships during adolescence appeared to be associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms from adolescence to midlife in this observational study of about 18,000 adolescents followed up until they were 32 to 42 years old.

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How are adolescent family relationships associated with trajectories of depressive symptoms from adolescence into midlife for women and men?

This was the question asked by a study – “Association of Positive Family Relationships With Mental Health Trajectories From Adolescence To Midlife” by Ping Chen, PhD and Kathleen Mullan Harris, PhD – published by JAMA Pediatrics, with the findings suggesting an association of early intervention in family relationships during adolescence with better mental health into adulthood and midlife.

The study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, which used a multistage, stratified school-based design to select a prospective cohort of 20 745 adolescents in grades 7 to 12 from January 3, 1994, to December 26, 1995 (wave 1). These respondents were followed up during four additional waves from April 14 to September 9, 1996 (wave 2); April 2, 2001, to May 9, 2002 (wave 3); April 3, 2007, to February 1, 2009 (wave 4); and March 3, 2016, to May 8, 2017 (sample 1, wave 5), when the cohort was aged 32 to 42 years.

The study sample of 8,952 male adolescents and 9,233 female adolescents that were analyzed was a US national representation of all population subgroups by sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geography.

Levels of depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale [CES-D]) from ages 12 to 42 years were then used to estimate propensity score–weighted growth curve models to assess sex differences in trajectories of depression by levels of positive adolescent family relationships.

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A total of 18,185 individuals (mean [SD] age at wave 1, 15.42 [0.12] years; 9233 [50.8%] female) participated in the study.

The study found that females and males who experienced positive adolescent family relationships had “significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms from early adolescence to midlife than did those who experienced less positive adolescent family relationships.”

For example, depressive symptoms were lower among those with high levels of family cohesion compared with those with low cohesion between 12 (1.26 lower CES-D score; 95% CI, 1.10-1.42) and 40 (0.78 lower CES-D score; 95% CI, 0.50-1.06) years of age among females and between 12 (0.72 lower CES-D score; 95% CI, 0.57-0.86) and 37 (0.21 lower CES-D score; 95% CI, 0.00-0.41) years of age among males.

The study also found that the reduction in depressive symptoms associated with positive adolescent family relationships was greater for females than males during the adolescent and early adulthood years (ie, early 20s) (eg, low-high cohesion difference in mean CES-D score, −1.26 [95% CI, −1.42 to −1.10] for females and −0.72 [95% CI, −0.86 to −0.57] for males at 12 years of age; low-high cohesion difference in mean CES-D score, −0.61 [95% CI, −0.69 to −0.53] for females and −0.40 [95% CI, −0.48 to −0.31] for males at 20 years of age), after which females and males benefited equally from positive adolescent relationships throughout young adulthood to midlife.

As per the authors, “The findings suggest that positive adolescent family relationships are associated with better mental health among females and males from early adolescence to midlife. Interventions in early family life to foster healthy mental development throughout the life course appear to be important.”

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This is noteworthy for the LGBTQIA community because other studies highlight the relevance of family support to LGBTQIA people. An earlier study released in July, for instance, showed “that derisive parenting fosters dysregulated anger in adolescent children. Dysregulated anger is indicative of difficulties regulating emotion, which typically result in negative emotions, verbal and physical aggression, and hostility. Increases in dysregulated anger, in turn, place adolescents at greater risk for bullying and victimization, and for becoming bully-victims (bullies who also are victimized by other bullies).”

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Divided US Supreme Court to decide whether Civil Rights Act should also protect LGBT workers

Outrage Magazine is at the US Supreme Court, where oral arguments were heard on a major civil rights question: Are gay and transgender people covered by the law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex?

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WASHINGTON, DC – The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a major civil rights question: Are gay and transgender people covered by the law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex?

As FYI: Legal developments in many countries – including the Philippines – are affected by those in the US. For instance, when the Philippines’ Supreme Court heard oral arguments on marriage equality in the country, the civil rights movement in the US was mentioned, along with other international laws/statutes pushing for LGBTQIA human rights.

At the SCOTUS, three cases are being heard.

Two of those cases, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, ask whether a worker can be fired for their sexual orientation. The third, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, asks whether a worker can be fired because of their gender identity.

US currently has a federal civil rights law that somewhat touches on this – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex as well as gender, race, color, national origin and religion.

However, the text of the law bans only “sex” discrimination, not specifically stating discrimination based on a worker’s “sexual orientation” or “gender identity”.

It is worth noting, therefore, that in the US, 29 states still do not have a law protecting the rights of LGBTQIA workers from being fired solely because of their SOGIE.

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The cases now at SCOTUS, therefore, ask whether concepts like sexual orientation and gender identity – both tightly bound to the concept of sex (meaning gender, not sexual intercourse) – should also be included under its grasp.

Thus far, the members of SCOTUS are divided.

The top court’s liberal members are expected to vote with the plaintiffs and the argument that LGBTQIA workers should be covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was among those who already noted that firing LGBTQIA people not because they under-performed but because of who they are may fall under the statutory ban on sex discrimination. “We can’t deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are and not because of religious reasons, not because they are performing their jobs poorly,” Sotomayor said, calling it “invidious behavior.”

For Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination that occurs “because of (an employee’s) race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” The language used here is broad and it suggests that a simple test should apply in sex discrimination cases. A plaintiff in such a case should prevail unless they would have experienced the exact same treatment if they “were a different sex.”

For Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, interpretations of Title Vii had changed in the past. Since this law was enacted, the SCOTUS has held that it applied to discrimination based on sex stereotypes, as well as same-sex harassment. And though these areas were presumably not on the minds of the legislators who voted for it, “no one ever thought sexual harassment was encompassed by discrimination on the basis of sex back in 1964. It wasn’t until a book was written in the middle 1970s bringing that out,” Ginsburg said. “And now we say, ’Of course, harassing someone, subjecting her to terms and conditions of employment she would not encounter if she were a male, that is sex discrimination. But it wasn’t recognized.”

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But conservative justices – including those appointed by US Pres. Donald Trump, who may continuously claim to be pro-LGBTQIA but has been attacking LGBTQIA human rights in the country by implementing policies not beneficial to the LGBTQIA community (such as banning transgender people from serving in the military) – are concerned of “massive social upheaval” if the court will rule in favor of LGBTQIA workers, instead of allowing Congress to legislate on the subject.

Decisions from the nine justices of America’s highest court are due by next June. – WITH SUZETTE MAGALLANES-PADOR

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Political divisiveness can cause an increase in homophobic bullying

Divisive partisan climates can cause an increase in homophobic bullying. But one school initiative was found to prevent and combat homophobic bullying – i.e. the formation of gay-straight alliance clubs.

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Divisive partisan climates can cause an increase in homophobic bullying. This is according research Dr. Yishan Shen, an assistant professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University at Austin.

According to Shen – whose research group was headed by Stephen Russell, chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas – being a teenager is hard enough, but Dr. Yishan Shen, an assistant professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University, has uncovered additional challenges for youths between 10 and 19 who are targets of bullying during contentious political campaigns.

While examining data from the California Healthy Kids Survey gathered before a 2008 referendum known as Proposition 8, Shen found what she described as an “odd peak of homophobic bullying in 2008.”

Shen reported the trend to Russell, whose laboratory she joined as a graduate student at UT in 2015 to expand her scholarship to other minority and marginalized groups. Russell dubbed Shen’s finding as “The Prop 8 Effect”, in a reference to attitudes about a California ballot initiative intended to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. They continued studying the topic, with their findings published as Proposition 8 and Homophobic Bullying in California in the journal Pediatrics.

The researchers determined that secondary school students reported “significantly more” homophobic bullying as the Prop 8 vote was approaching, but less after the Prop 8 vote. 

The researchers tried running different statistical analyses to see if there are other possible explanations, like the economic or ethnic makeup of the schools, but after controlling for each of these variables, the same pattern was observed, thereby leading them to conclude that the increase in rates of bullying was associated with Prop 8.

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 One school initiative was found to prevent and combat homophobic bullying in their study – the formation of gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs. 

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‘Humanizing SOGIE’ launched to help elevate SOGIE discussion

LGBTQIA community members, as well as allies launched “Humanizing SOGIE”, a national initiative to advocate for sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) inclusion and equality in the Philippines.

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Allies in Congress, community leaders, and other advocates joined together to launch “Humanizing SOGIE”, a national initiative to advocate for sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) inclusion and equality in the Philippines.

Gender equality organization SPARK! Philippines, with support from the Government of Canada and in partnership with Love is All We Need and Propel Manila, is launching this national campaign that shares stories of Filipinos through a public exhibit, engaging the public in a social media conversation and creating space for community coordination.

“Humanizing SOGIE is more than just a social media campaign. Its focal point is a public exhibit highlighting the challenges that 23 Filipinos have faced as a result of their diverse SOGIE,” SPARK! Philippines executive director Maica Teves explained. 

By shining a light on the stories of real Filipinos with diverse experiences, “the campaign aims to challenge preconceptions about what it means to be LGBTQ+ in the Philippines and to increase public awareness about how different forms of discrimination continue to impact members of the community,” Teves added.  

Humanizing SOGIE is expected to contribute to an ongoing public conversation about these issues by encouraging those who visit the public exhibit to share their reactions through social media and to join the call for greater inclusion and equality.

Recognizing that there are no legal protections in the Philippines specifically for SOGIE individuals, “Humanizing SOGIE” will engage directly with lawmakers by inviting them to visit the exhibit and participate on social media. The campaign will also organize a series of community dialogues to convene allied individuals and groups, particularly from the LGBTQ+ organizations, to coordinate their efforts in pushing for greater SOGIE equality.

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The project is funded with support from the Embassy of Canada’s Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, a competitive grants program that supports Filipino organizations implementing projects that empower marginalized groups across the country.

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Only 1 out of 10 Filipinos always use condoms

Only 30% said they used condoms very frequently to prevent pregnancy and at least 40% to avoid STIs.

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Most sexually active Filipinos don’t always use condoms, putting them at risk to acquire sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and, yes, unwanted pregnancy.

This is according to a study done by PhilCare, a health maintenance organization (HMO), which showed that only one out of 10 Filipinos always use protection.

Over 800 (i.e. 820) sexually-active Filipinos were polled nationwide for this study, which found that at least 30% said they used condoms very frequently to prevent pregnancy and at least 40% to avoid STIs. (It is worth nothing that the study did not segregate respondents based on their SOGIE – Ed)

Condom use for the prevention of STIs was higher among women (48%) than men (36%).

Meanwhile, 36% of women and 30% of men reported using condoms to prevent possible pregnancy.

The study similarly found out that those from Mindanao used protection more frequently, compared to the national average. Some 26% of Mindanawon respondents used condoms against unplanned pregnancy, which is more than twice the national average of 12%.

Meanwhile, at least 18% of respondents from Mindanao used condoms against STIs, still and also higher than the national average of 13%.

The survey also found that only two out of 10 young adults, aged 18 to 30, always used protection. Broken down, over half of young adults used protection very frequently against STIs, while almost 40% did to avoid pregnancy.

In contrast, only 12% of men and women between 31 to 40 used condoms against STIs while 14% said they did to prevent pregnancy.

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Older respondents in between 40 to 50 reported even lower condom use. Only 10% used protection against STIs, while only 7% as contraception.

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