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Palawan 2: Encapsulating Cubao?

Almost all gay men from Metro Manila know about Palawan 2 (sister bar of Palawan 1), one of the oldest MSM venues in these parts of the country. But is this venue frequented even by MSM from nearby Valenzuela, Marikina and Antipolo worth a visit? Outrage Magazine takes a closer look.



In truth, all gay men (let’s clarify and say “Almost all”) from Metro Manila know about Palawan 2 (sister bar of Palawan 1) – it’s one of the oldest MSM venues in these parts of the metro, catering not only to the Quezon City crowd (where it’s at), but even the (relatively more) far-flung areas of Valenzuela, Marikina, Antipolo, et cetera. This place has remained steady even as others have faltered – e.g. Bed Bar closed in Malate, Government closed in Makati, O Bar folded in Malate, and so on…

Thus, this place must have something appealing to offer, right?

At least one would expect so, particularly following a much-publicized renovation.

Palawan 2-2Now, to be honest, beauteous adjectives won’t fit here, as using them would – eventually – prove to be (somewhat) untrue, thereby making a liar out of the writer.

So it may be best to just… spit the words out sans the sugarcoating.

To start, let’s talk “grimy”. This is the word repeated used by a friend whenever Palawan 2 is mentioned – and to get what he means, when you are in the venue, you only have to look above you, at the ceiling, to see the… grime. Seeing is somewhat inevitable, too, since the venue has two floors – with the second level more like a verandah with tables/chairs, allowing for the club-goers to look at the people seated at the ground floor. So every time those at the ground floor look up to see if there are cuties on the upper floor, they’d (most definitely) see the grime.

And with ice boxes by the toilet, the grime is not only left atop you…

This is somewhat… disappointing, considering that the cover charge (which varies according to shows presented) could reach over P200+ on weekends.

Secondly, this place remains jam-packed. At times, too packed for its own good. And when this happens, the place is not at all enticing (this coming from someone who likes crowds!); instead, as another friend worried, “fire hazard” comes to mind.

Thirdly, Cubao is NOT the safest area to be found drunken out of your mind in Metro Manila. See the people sleeping on the sidewalks to get the point…

Let it be known, however, that these are not attacks on Palawan 2; instead, there are blunt (okay, fine, make that “VERY BLUNT”) observations.

As such, it goes without saying that this place DOES have come-ons worth checking.

Start with the shows. This placed produced the famed Foxy Ladies – the drag act that once dominated the scene (with some of the members eventually forming their own acts/groups). And then there are the… titillating bikini competitions. Meaning, if you’re into MSM (not necessarily gay or bi), then this place could give you desired fruits. And the clan beauty pageants? Palawan 2 has plenty, as it often hosts clan gatherings.

Follow that up with the drinks. For just over P300 for a bucket of five beers, this place is one of the cheapest gay venues in Metro Manila (The cocktails are so-so; so stick with the beer…).

There’s the singing sans the attitude (and sometimes, sans the need for good singing, too). This is also a singalong bar, so that belting out happens (after the hosts in drag pick on you first).

Consider, too, the relative ease to access “traditional” gay bars – i.e. go-go bars – that still abound in Cubao. If you are with people more interested in hetero-identifying MSM (unlike you, who prefer gay or bi men), then you can drop them off at these bars, and then maybe head to Palawan 2 by yourself – at least until it’s time to pick your friends up again after they had fun in these go-go bars.

And yeah, there are (some) hot men in Palawan 2. I’d say for you to forget your yuppie preference – there aren’t many of them going there (and when they do, they’re almost always unavailable). If it’s yuppie you want, Bed Bar and even O Bar are for you. Here in Palawan 2, we have – instead – an abundance of self-identifying “bi” men (even if they exclusively have homosexual relations). Even with the confusion with sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE), it’s worth mentioning that there are some (if not many) of them who are, yes, yummy.

So, should you head to Palawan 2?

If you want to discover scenes that could serve as alternatives to dressier Bed, O Bar, Xroads, et cetera, I’d say yes.
If you want to see a different crowd (MSM from Marikina, Valenzuela, Rizal, et cetera), then yes.
If you want a comparatively cheaper venue, then yes.
And – as my friend said – if you can put up with the grime, then YES!

Palawan 2 is located along Yale Street, Cubao, Quezon City.

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5 Reasons why you should watch (plus 5 sources of apprehension about) PETA’s ‘Under My Skin’

Consider this an “educational play”, where we get the dramatic narrative interspersed with statement of facts. Now, does this work? Yes… with limits.



HIV-related productions aren’t… rare. “Angels in America” (by American playwright Tony Kushner) and “Rent” (a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson) easily come to mind. Even if experiences re HIV transcend geography (e.g. issues with access to testing, and treatment/care/support; stigma and discrimination; et cetera), these are, of course, still very… Western.

It is, therefore, refreshing when this issue is tackled using a localized lens; and this is what the staging of Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) “Under My Skin” is aiming to do.

As written by Rody Vera and directed by Melvin Lee, “Under My Skin” is part of PETA’s 52nd Theater Season finale, said to reflect PETA’s advocacy for raising awareness and starting conversations towards pressing issues – e.g. HIV in this case in particular.

As FYI: “Under My Skin” is a collection of stories of Filipinos living with HIV (said to be based on people that Vera personally knows). Their stories are woven together by an epidemiologist, a certain Dr. Gemma Almonte, who provides background info re HIV in the Philippines – e.g. what CD4 means, how HIV is transmitted (and how it’s not transmitted), the number of Filipinos infected with HIV (at least as of 2018), et cetera.

Consider this an “educational play”, where we get the dramatic narrative interspersed with statement of facts.

Now, does this work?

Yes and no; and here are five reasons why you should watch “Under My Skin”, plus five other reasons why you may opt to skip it…


  1. That there are now 34 new HIV cases in the Philippines every day is a reminder of how bad the local situation is. In 2016 (only four years ago), the number was just 16. So… yes, the situation is getting worse.
    Talking about this (in whatever format) is, therefore, necessary; and “Under My Skin” doing exactly this, making it commendable indeed.
  2. This is a somewhat big production – e.g. to start, it’s produced by PETA; and it stars the likes of TV, film and theater artists Cherry Pie Picache, Roselyn Perez, Miguel Almendras, Mike Liwag, Anthony Falcon and Dylan Talon.
  3. The approach – which attempts to be as comprehensive as possible – is noteworthy.
    HIV activists are the first to stress that HIV is NOT just a medical problem; this is a social issue that needs a holistic response (e.g. we have to deal with the medical concerns, yes, but we also have to deal with social issues that touch on HIV, from stigma and discrimination, legal protections and failures, et cetera).
    For “Under My Skin” to want to cover as much as possible is – at least – commendable.
  4. This is an issue that affects us all; and to be given a glimpse about this THIS way is good, indeed.
    There was a time when (less informed) people thought HIV only affects gay men (it was even named as “gay-related” infectious disease when the epidemic/pandemic just started). But we know better now – i.e. HIV does NOT discriminate, affecting children, rich, poor, Black, White, Asians, differently-abled, employed/unemployed, and so on and so forth…
    As an issue OF everyone, knowing about HIV is important; and the glimpse given by “Under My Skin” is commendable.
  5. That open forum at the end of the play.
    Now, exactly because HIV-related performances remain rare in the Philippines, and “Under My Skin” is a relatively “new” attempt here, there’s this seeming want to be “everything for everyone”. Alas, even this isn’t possible, with core issues still not (properly) tackled (see below on this, too). Because of this, it is good that there is an open forum at the end of “Under My Skin”; an attempt to further discuss the issues that those watching may still have.


Now this isn’t exactly a “perfect” play (but then again, what is, considering that even “Rent” has issues with tackling PWID/people who inject drugs, among others). And for me, there are a handful of things that could help better “Under My Skin.”

  1. Outdated data, thus less emphasis on science-backed truths re HIV (e.g. U=U).
    Onstage, you’d be shown HIV-related data from 2018. That’s… AGES when talking about HIV. Because, yes, while some facts remain (e.g. HIV transmission), some info that even HIV activists share need to be updated (e.g. U=U).
  2. Half-truth/s.
    There are some “facts” PLHIVs in the Philippines are being told – e.g. that meds in the Philippines are “free”. And this needs to be confronted because: A) of the false narrative, and B) for giving PLHIVs “false hope”. Specific to “free” ARV, let it be stated that a PLHIV needs to pay PhilHealth before he/she can access the life-saving meds.
  3. Over-emphasis on gays.
    During the Q&A of the performance I watched, one of the questions asked was: “Why the over-emphasis on gays?”. This is a question that’s worth highlighting because, yes, this play is… over 80% about gays and HIV. The tackling of heterosexual people/relationships vis-a-vis HIV isn’t extensively done (see 4 and 5 below). And in the move to make people understand that HIV is everyone’s issue, this is… detrimental.
  4. Stereotypical narratives – e.g. serodifferent couples won’t work, one has to stay with a poz lover because “you only have each other”, “thank God I’m negative”, and so on.
    As early as 2010, 2011, a friend who has HIV already stated to me how it’s sad that HIV-related stories almost always focus on the drama, often ending in something tragic/sad (for instance, the death of the PLHIV). This immediately negates the experiences of many PLHIVs – e.g. those who find love even with non-poz.
    Because yes, many of the issues that the HIV community encountered before remain relevant now (e.g. people are still dying from it, there are still issues re access to treatment), but stereotypes need to be revisited (related to #1 above).
  5. Pahapyaw touches on… a lot of things.
    U=U was “mentioned”; the law was mentioned; et cetera. It’s like “Under My Skin” wanted to cover everything, but ended up not giving these aspects the merit they deserved. And exactly because of this approach, the play needs to be “tightened” because many of these issues have to be emphasized.

To start talks about HIV, this is a commendable effort. But that’s just to start; because much more needs to be done as we continue battling HIV.

“Under My Skin” will be showing until March 22 (Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays/Sundays at 3:00pm and 8:00pm) at the PETA Theater Center, #5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City. For tickets and showbuying inquiries, contact PETA at or 8725-6244, or TicketWorld at or 8891-9999.

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Clubs and bars must support women by cracking down on sexual aggression

Women practicing ‘feisty femininity’ overtly resist unwanted encounters and this approach can arguably play a role in ending gendered violence. However, such responses may expose women to risks and place the labour of managing unwanted incidents onto women directly.




Photo by Nick Fewings from

Nightclubs and bars must create a supportive environment that cracks down on unwanted sexual attention and allows women to enjoy their nights out, according to a new study.

Increasing numbers of women are prepared to speak back to sexual harassment while enjoying a night out with female friends by confronting the men responsible and telling them clearly and robustly that their behavior is unacceptable.

But researchers say that such a response – which they dub ‘feisty femininity’ – is complex and can result in backlash. It, therefore, needs businesses within the Night Time Economy to take seriously unwanted encounters in order to foster safer venues and help to end gendered violence.

Researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Liverpool worked with colleagues at Liverpool John Moores University to explore women’s navigation of unwanted sexual attention when in bars and nightclubs. “Unwanted Sexual Attention in the Night-Time Economy: Behaviors, Safety Strategies, and Conceptualizing ‘Feisty Femininity'” by Clare Gunby , Anna Carline, Stuart Taylor and Helena Gosling is published in Feminist Criminology.

They conducted focus groups with young women in Liverpool and discovered two broad forms for unwanted sexual attention when women went out: ‘the pick-up routine’, which men used to start sexual encounters; and ‘showing off for the lads’, where males engaged in undermining and abusive interactions with women for the purpose of impressing their male friends.

Encountering ‘the pick-up routine’ tended to prompt the use of ‘diplomatic’ rejection responses, which were carefully constructed in order to manage a potentially aggressive reaction. In contrast, ‘showing off for the lads’ approaches were more likely to spark a robust ‘feisty’ rebuttal from the targeted woman.

Article author Dr. Clare Gunby, from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, commented: “Young people, globally, are starting to demand accountability for sexist structures and norms, partly due to the re-emergence of feminism and activism on University campuses and beyond.

“Women practicing ‘feisty femininity’ overtly resist unwanted encounters and this approach can arguably play a role in ending gendered violence. However, such responses may expose women to risks and place the labour of managing unwanted incidents onto women directly.

“Indeed, our participants felt that staff in nightclubs and bars did not take their concerns around safety seriously. Hence, women’s informal strategies for dealing with unwanted attention become especially important because more formal lines of recourse often remain unavailable.

“Venues must, therefore, play a key role in creating a safe environment that makes it clear that unwanted sexual aggression will not be tolerated. There must be a multipronged approach across the Night Time Economy to addressing sexual violence.”

The study sheds light on women’s navigation of unwanted sexual attention when in bars and nightclubs – about which little is known, especially in the UK context. In addition to ‘feisty femininity’, the researchers found that women had developed three other risk management solutions:

  • ‘Emotion management’ – offering a tactful and diplomatic explanation for their lack of interest (in order to mitigate negative reactions when rejecting men).
  • ‘Men as protector’ – specifically going out with male friends or using a boyfriend (actual and mythical) to reduce the likelihood of an unwanted encounter.
  • ‘From individualism to camaraderie among the girls’ – cutting an evening short, moving to another venue, laughing off unwanted attention or stepping in to stop men from exploiting drunken friends and strangers.

“There was a shared reticence to report unwanted incidents to venue staff or police as women felt that any report would be shrugged off and that no one would care due to the perceived normality of such practices when out in bars and nightclubs,” Dr. Gunby notes.

“The lack of formal sanction for such behaviors could arguably play a role in their maintenance, prompting women to fill this gap by taking it upon themselves to monitor friends and strangers.”

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UP Repertory Company to focus on LGBTQIA stories in opening of 47th production season

UP Repertory Company opens its 47th production season with DADA: The Chika Minutes¸ a performance of LGBTQIA stories.




This November, the UP Repertory Company opens its 47th production season with DADA: The Chika Minutes¸ a performance of LGBTQIA stories. 

DADA: The Chika Minutes is a documentary theater performance of various narratives from the LGBTQIA community, exploring documentary merged with the company’s own art form, tula dula (a poem written in verse, acted out in mime). With 16 segments of a spectra of LGBTQIA narratives, DADA will be tackling the real life experiences of kids to OFWs to pageant queens to sex workers to community builders and activists. 

“In this period of intense hate crimes, controversies and fake news about SOGIE, we bring the stories of the LGBTQIA you might have missed,” UP Repertory Company stated. 

With the dramaturgy of Ligaya Sinfuego, additional choreography by Michelle Alde, and choreography and direction by Jasper Villasis and Malvin Ramos.

DADA: The Chika Minutes will be staged this coming November 28 and 29 (7pm) and November 30 (3pm and 7pm) in UP Diliman.

For details on tickets and show venue, contact Hillary Guevara at 0906 626 0900.

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5 Reasons why you should consider watching PETA’s ‘Rak of Aegis’

We take another look at “Rak of Aegis” to see what makes this iteration worth it…




In the later part of 2012, PETA’s artistic director Maribel Legarda had a chat with Liza Magtoto about making a musical using the songs of Aegis (the group that gave Filipinos the can’t-be-escaped “Basang-basa sa Ulan”, among others). We know the approach re making of such a musical, of course; overseas, “Mamma Mia!” has been making waves (and lots of money) by using the songs of AbBBA; ditto “Across the Universe” that uses the songs of The Beatles.

Though that chat was – in a way – partly a joke, Magtoto said that the musical that “had a Pinoy soul in it” eventually came to life because: 1. if you’re a Filipino, there’s really no way to escape Aegis (Hello “Halik!”); and 2. if you listen closely to the lyrics of Aegis songs, you’d eventually understand why they “click” (e.g. “Basang-basa sa Ulan” has a line: “Ngunit hero, bumabangon pa rin”).

And so – eventually – “Rak of Aegis” came to life (the title a play at “Rock of Ages”).

That was around 2013, when the “rock comedy musical” was (first) rolled out. And now, for the Nth time, PETA is rolling it out again…

We take another look at “Rak of Aegis” to see what makes this iteration worth it…

1. Providing a “current” look at current issues…

“Rak of Aegis”, for me, remains relevant because it tells a story that’s valid on our times.
To start, there’s climate change, and how this particularly affects poorer places (say, a country like the Philippines).

“Rak of Aegis” tells the story of Aileen (and the people around her) who lives in Barangay Venizia, a place submerged in flood waters for two months already. The flood has already affected the livelihood of the locals (e.g. shoemaking); and is affecting other aspects in the lives of the locals (e.g. her mother has leptospirosis, a disease spread by contact with water contaminated by the urine of infected animals).

Though she works (as a saleslady, a contractual worker), Aileen falsely and blindly believes that their way out is for her to be famous (I’d say: “Welcome to this famewhoring generation”). So she kept trying to make a YouTube video to make some “noise”, hoping that the “likes” she gets will save her, her family, and the entire barangay.

Aileen eventually gets her wish, forcing the cause of the flooding (i.e. absence of a sewerage system in a nearby subdivision development) to surface; the enterprising spirit of people (e.g. holding a concert in a flooded area) to become apparent; and opportunism to be seen (e.g. surfacing of other wannabe celebs to follow Aileen’s footsteps)…

All these issues are “now” issues; and kudos for PETA for being able to roll them into a “rock comedy musical”…

2. A glimpse at intersectionality.

Yes, there are poor people. And poverty is NOT (only) because people are lazy. Their contexts need to be considered – e.g. access to education, access to opportunities, et cetera.

Yes, the Internet can help popularize issues; but keyboard activism – on its own – is NOT the solution. Being proactive in developing efforts offline/in the real/physical world is just as important.

Yes, opportunists abound (e.g. real estate developers that don’t give shit for the environment so long as they get ROI); but “kaput sa patalim” (that “opportunism” because people are left with no choice) is also existent (e.g. we put up with shitty proposals from those in power because… it’s not like we really have any choice).

All these – and more – are tackled (lightly or in-depth) by “Rak of Aegis”…

3. Worthy production…

PETA – being PETA – is expected to produce good shows; and this is no exemption.

Take the set design (by Mio Infante) that may look simplistic; but gives life to Barangay Venizia as a water-swallowed place (i.e. with an actual “flooded” canal in the middle).

The lighting (by Jonjon Villarreal) more than helps set the atmosphere of the scenes; it also – for me – highlighted specific moments/people worth highlighting. Think of the character Tolits (Pepe Herrera in the production watched for this review), who had more than one, two or even three breakout scenes; all of them emphasized by how well he was literally given the spotlight.

PETA’s facilities aren’t as big as, say, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). But that it was able to make the most of what it has is praiseworthy…

4. The cast, the cast…

When I first saw “Rak of Aegis”, somewhat-celeb Aicelle Santos was the lead (as Aileen), supported by the likes of Jon Santos (Fernan, the real estate developer); Kakai Bautista (Mercy, the mother); Isay Alvarez-Sena/Bayang Barrios/Jenine Desiderio (as Mary Jane, the barangay captain, and former GF of the father); and Robert Sean/Noel Cabangon (as Kiel, the father of Aileen). That this is a star-studded affair is… a given; so for stargazers, this is an opportunity to see these celebrated thespians performing.

Santos is still with the production, though Shaira Opsimar was the Aileen seen for the review. Adept in the role, Opsimar is unlike Santos; with Opsimar, she is easily “swallowed” by her bigger-named co-performers (e.g. Sweet Plantado-Tiongson, the Mary Jane in the production reviewed). This is not necessarily bad as it creates that sense of naïveté. But those wanting Aegis-like “birit” will remember more the co-stars Tolits (Pepe Herrera), Kiel (Renz Verano), and yes, Mary Jane (Sweet Plantado-Tiongson).

Others seen in the production reviewed were the somewhat tamed down Vince Lim (as Kenny, the former BF of Aileen); and eye candies/ensemble and scene-stealers Gio Gahol and Carlos Matobato.

As a unified whole, though, the cast of “Rak of Aegis” deserve to be seen.

From the comedic timing of Jewel (Ron Alfonso), to the agaw-eksena/secene-stealing singing of the likes of Mary Jane and Kiel, you have here a definite winner…

As FYI: The “older” cast members (e.g. Aicelle Santos, Kakai Bautista, Isay Alvarez-Sena, Bayang Barrios and Jenine Desiderio) are still performing; so if you’re extra picky, you may want to know beforehand who’d be going onstage…

5. Aegis songs – of course!

And then there are the songs of Aegis – e.g. “Halik”, “Luha”, “Basang-basa sa Ulan”, “Christmas Bonus”, “Munting Pangarap”, et cetera.

Ogie Alcasid – yes, the hubby of THE regime Velasquez – the president of the Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), once said that “a show like ‘Rak of Aegis’ is an embodiment of what we have to do as Filipinos – suportahan, tangkilikin at ipagbunyi natin ang ating sariling musika.”

And he’s right.

Some may say that Aegis songs can be… baduy (slang for “in poor taste” or “unfashionable”). But that they tug at the hearts of those who listen to them is a fact. Though they may tackle of heartbreak, for instance, they also talk about getting back up; of resilience.

And this speaks so much of what makes us Filipinos.

In “Luha”, Aegis famously sang:
“Gulong ng buhay | Patuloy-tuloy sa pag-ikot | Noon ako ay nasa ilalim | Bakit ngayon nasa ilalim pa rin | Sana bukas nasa ibabaw naman.”

This is everyone’s hope, I suppose.

And with “Rak of Aegis”, well… you can get some sense of trying to be on top…

Rak of Aegis” runs July 5 to September 29 at PETA Theater Center, No.5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City, 1112 Metro Manila.

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Vienna comes to Manila to celebrate pride, diversity and equality

Under the theme “LGBTQIA+ Greatness in Leadership and the Arts” the Austrian Embassy and its partners Frontrow Philippines and Love Is All We Need bring together Austrian and Filipino equality advocates from the disciplines of photography, visual arts, fashion and makeup, performance art, film and music in a celebration of diversity, unity and equality.




Photo by Ylanite Koppens from

Austria stands together with the Philippines against gender-based discrimination and violence at its first-ever MNLxVIE Equality Fest, a five-day campaign championing the LGBTQIA+ community through creative activism.

“On this 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Austria continues to take a strong stance against isolation, hatred and discrimination, while honoring self-affirmation, dignity and equality: We are more than our borders. We are more than the languages we speak and the color of our skin. We are more than our gender and who we want to love. This was the mission statement and message that EuroPride 2019 hosted in Vienna this Pride Month successfully delivered. Today, we look back on a great deal of progress, but all along in the sober realization that there is still a way to go. And our ambitions are not restricted to just one country: because LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights – and as Austria we will always stand up for them all over the world,” said Austrian Ambassador Bita Rasoulian.  

Under the theme “LGBTQIA+ Greatness in Leadership and the Arts” the Austrian Embassy and its partners Frontrow Philippines and Love Is All We Need bring together Austrian and Filipino equality advocates from the disciplines of photography, visual arts, fashion and makeup, performance art, film and music in a celebration of diversity, unity and equality.

On June 25 the festival opens with a launch party at Tarzeer Pictures, Makati, by Amb. Rasoulian and equal rights advocates RS Francisco and Queenmelo Esguerra. The launch is accompanied by the photo exhibit “RECORD, RECORD” on Austria’s LGBTQIA+ history and excerpts from the book “Anong Pangalan Mo Sa Gabi?” by UP Babaylan, Babaylanes, Inc. and UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies,  as well as works by renowned and upcoming local LGBTQIA+ photographers. Flying in straight from Austria to join the festival are Austrian intersex rights activist Noah Rieser, filmmaker Gregor Schmidinger and drag queen Tamara Mascara.

On June 26, the Intramuros Administration unveils a Pride-themed public mural. Situated across Museo de Intramuros, the art work is a collaborative project of the Austrian Embassy, Austrian artist Katharina Kapsamer and Salzburg Global Forum fellow Ralph Eya.

On June 26, drag queen Tamara Mascara, heading cosmetics giant MAC’s Viva Glam online campaign for Pride month in the Philippines, performs at Tomatito, BGC with Filipino queens MC Black, Precious Paula Nicole and Queen Viña! Don’t miss Tamara on June 28 as DJane at XX:XX’s Elephant Night closing party.

On June 27, intersex activist Noah Rieser leads the panel “LGBTQIA+ Greatness in Leadership: An Equality Talk” on Austria’s recent legislation allowing for a third gender option in legal documents. Joining him at the De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde are Myla Escultura of Intersex Philippines, 2018 bar topnotcher Sean Borja and Filipino artist fellows of the Salzburg Global Forum Reymart Cerin, Mark Salvatus, Andrei Venal and filmmaker Cha Roque.

On June 27, Austrian filmmaker Gregor Schmidinger in cooperation with the FDCP premieres his film “NEVRLAND” in Manila at the Cinematheque Centre.

On June 28, Schmidinger and renowned Filipino filmmakers Joel Lamangan, Moira Lang and Samantha Lee discuss LGBTQIA+ films in a Q&A at the UP Film Institute.

On June 29, the MNL-VIE Equality Fest culminates with the Metro Manila Pride March, where Amb. Rasoulian and all festival participants and partners march with The Red Whistle campaign #FuelTheLove and #ExtinguishTheStigma.

MNLxVIE Equality Fest 2019 is supported by the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, UP Babaylan, Babaylanes, Inc., Benilde Hive and The Red Whistle; with the support of EuroPride Vienna 2019, MAC Cosmetics Philippines, Intramuros Administration, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Digi Ads and Think Big Events; and venue partners Tarzeer Pictures, Tomatito Manila, UPFI Film Center – Cine Adarna, Cinematheque Centre Manila, SoFA Design Institute and XX XX.

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‘Kasarisarian’ LGBTQIA community cultural event slated in Lucena City on July 21-26

To “elevate the discussion about LGBTQIA Pride”, QZN Bahaghari and Guni-Guri Collective are hosting the 2018 iteration of “Kasarisarian” a cultural event, from July 21 to 26 in Lucena City.




To “elevate the discussion about LGBTQIA Pride”, QZN Bahaghari and Guni-Guri Collective are hosting the 2018 iteration of “Kasarisarian” a cultural event, from July 21 to 26 at the ESPASYO ART GALLERY, Quezon Avenue corner Trinidad Street, Lucena City in the Quezon Province.

Particularly for this year’s event, “we’re trying to elevate the discussion and the perspective on the current situation of the LGBTQIA people in the country,” said Aaron Bonette, co-organizer of the event. “We want to make Kasarisarian 2 a non-hierarchal exhibition invested in grassroots community organizing, and focused on radical queer narratives, visioning and politics. This means that the curated works will tackle and represent queer lives and struggles based on the current and past experiences of LGBTQIA people that are skeptic – from the looming commercialized cooptation of Pride to the glitter industrial complex to the failed political myth of equality through law, violence against LGBTQIA people and class hierarchy.”

The event will feature 15 artists based in the Quezon Province and two artists based in the Netherlands, including: Lans Lans, Elvira Bvlgari, Aaron Bonette, Syeril Powsa, Catsoup, John Van Vallesterol, Annita Remoroza, Aann Reynales, Jaymar Valdoria, Alliza Beth, Joma Importante, Skimmi Shimmi, Beatriz Rogas, France dela Paz, and Brian van Niehoff. Documentaries from Outrage Magazine’s #KaraniwangLGBT series will also be shown; as will Sunugin ang Aparador by Gio Potes, and Mark & Lenny by Gio Potes.

Outrage Magazine launches #KaraniwangLGBT

Bonette added that the annual Pride month celebration has just ended, and yet – over 20 years since the first such gathering in Metro Manila “the LGBTQIA movement does and spends more on branding rather than coalition building, with the mainstream LGBTQIA movement focusing on soliciting funds from corporation to run our cause; it’s almost like our rights have been bought, paid for and sold to the highest bidder no matter how anti-worker or neoliberal policy upholder that corporation is.”

In this sense, “the metaphor of being ‘treated like a piece of meat’ is valid, as if our bodies and identities are there to be exploited in the free market of commodification and oppression.”

Bonette said that they are cognizant that “corporate money also do some good for the community”, but that awareness is needed so LGBTQIA people also recognize that “there is something antithetical about a movement for equality and justice funded by the forces in the world that is also most responsible for widespread economic and social inequality.”

In the end, “we’d like to use this event as a venue to ask LGBTQIA people: What’s the future ahead of us? When our community is not yet united as a social movement that addresses the issues facing the most marginalized LGBTQIA people, with those fighting against systemic poverty, are we really making any progress? Or has the LGBTQIA movement, our movement, already hijacked by power elites advocating for their own interests?”

“Kasarisarian” is a term coined from: “Kasarian” which means gender, and (2) “Sari-Sari” for variety and diversity. It aims to provide queer (and straight) artists a non-commercial and an uncompromising space to tackle and explore various queer narratives, identities and politics.

This is a free event (yes, there’s no admission fee); though it is open for donations (during the event). Door will open at 1:00PM on July 21 and the program will start at exactly 6:00PM with a welcome reception, followed by the Artist Talk, film screening and cultural performances. This will run until July 26.

For more information, head to Guni-Guri Collective; or contact Aaron Bonette at or 0995-085-3664.

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