Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Features

Quezon City’s problem-plagued Pride attracts over 200,000 revelers; bad planning mars post-parade events

This year’s Pride was said to have attracted over 200,000 revelers… though with a catch, with non-LGBTQIA flocking to the main venue not to support LGBTQIA people but to watch celebrities. This was but one of the many criticisms received by the gathering that was eventually cut short due to bad planning.

WITH REPORTS FROM MICHAEL DAVID C. TAN
STEPHEN CHRISTIAN P. QUILACIO

ARTHUR ABAD NWABIA
ALBERT TAN MAGALLANES, JR.

For Xavier, 25 and who hails from the City of Manila, Quezon City’s Pride for 2024 was a “conflicting” experience.

As the first such event attended by him, “being with people such as yourself, or  at least those who support who you are, was fun, and even empowering.” But at the same time, “when those running Pride seem to have different interests than the LGBTQIA people there, things go awry”, just as they did for Metro Manila’s biggest LGBTQIA Pride event for 2024.

Themed “Love Laban 2 Everyone”, this year’s LGBTQIA Pride in Quezon City – which was co-organized by the Quezon City local government unit (LGU) and Pride PH – reportedly attracted over 200,000 revelers, the biggest number thus far of Pride attendees in any of the LGBTQIA-related events held in the country.

The figure released by Pride PH is contentious, however, since those who went to the venue were not necessarily LGBTQIA or even supportive of LGBTQIA people, but only to watch celebrities perform for free.

Outrage Magazine reached out to one of the people who helmed Quezon City Pride 2024, particularly to ask about their responses to the numerous complaints made related to this year’s gathering. But the message was only seen-zoned.

All the same, Pride PH stated: “Hindi po ito ang pagtatapos ng ating laban. Ang Pride ay pang-araw-araw, at marami pang pagkakataon na tayo ay muling magsasama-sama (This is not the end of our fights. Pride is pushed every day, and we will have other times to be together).”

QUICK LOOK AT LGBTQIA HISTORY

Although the very first Pride in the Philippines happened in Quezon City in 1994, the city’s LGU actually has a history on dumping LGBTQIA Pride.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In 2013, the city – which was then under former mayor Herbert Bautista – was supposed to host that year’s Pride, ambitiously dubbed “World Pride Festival”. But two weeks before the event, Bautista decided on his own to cancel the event, mainly to “re-align its budget allocation and manpower to help the victims of typhoon Yolanda”.

Interestingly, for that year, Task Force Pride (TFP) – which was the former organizer of Pride in Metro Manila – already decided not to hold any Pride-related event to give way to Quezon City’s failed “World Pride Festival”.

This actually mirrored the decision made by Metro Manila Pride (the offspring of TFP) for this year not to hold its own parade since Quezon City’s Pride was too well-funded for it to compete with.

But at least in 2013, when Bautista made a decision without consulting the LGBTQIA community, TFP stepped up to organize in less than two weeks a Pride March, eventually dubbed as “Can’t stop pride”.

“This is the shortest time in history that a Pride March has been organized,” said at that GANDA Filipinas, Inc.’s Naomi Fontanos, who co-helmed that year’s gathering. “I will always remember this and hope to honor in the future all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this Pride March possible.”

With Fontanos then were Side B Philippines’ Raffy Manalili Aquino along with Outrage Magazine’s Michael David Tan.

SEGREGATED PRIDE?

In Quezon City’s Pride for 2024, there were actually two parades; one was more political in nature, and the other was not.

The “Love” march, which originated from Tomas Morato Street, the commercial center of the city, was attended by Quezon City government officials, along with sponsors, “workplace diversity clusters” (or private companies promoting themselves as pro-LGBTQIA), et cetera.

The “Laban (Fight)” march, which originated from Kalayaan Avenue and Matalino Street, was attended by grassroots LGBTQIA and human rights organizations, representatives from minority sectors (e.g. youth, PWD, seniors), faith-based networks, health groups, et cetera.

The former had a longer and more exposed route (4.5 km), and thus had more exposure; while the latter had a shorter route (2.5 km), and so was made more “hidden”.

The parades merged at the Quezon Memorial Circle, where performances were held for the “Pride Night” culminating activity of Quezon City Pride 2024. Entry into the Quezon Memorial Circle favored the city’s residents, with a special lane allocated for them, while others had to brave longer queues. This “defeated the push for equality of Pride,” quipped Xavier, “while also betraying Quezon City’s claim that it is ‘for all LGBTQIA people wherever they may come from’.”

FOCUS ON CELEBRITIES… POLITICS LATER?

Stressing the need to pass the anti-discrimination bill into law, Senator Risa Hontiveros stated during the event that they will not stop until protecting the human rights of LGBTQIA people becomes law.

Kikilos tayo, walang tigil hanggang maipasa ito bilang batas (We will act and not stop until this is passed into law),” she said, emphasizing that she’s now working with leaders in the senate to bring the measure back to plenary discussions after it was reverted to the senate committee on rules by former majority leader and ultra-conservative politician Joel Villanueva in 2023.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

This was backed by Bataan First District Representative Geraldine Roman who said that the anti-discrimination bill they are pushing is not meant to provide “special rights” to LGBTQIA Filipinos. “Ang hinihingi lang natin: ang karapatang magtrabaho, mag-aral, tumanggap ng serbisyo sa pamahalaan…nang walang diskriminasyon na nakabase sa ating kasarian (What we ask: the right to work, study, receive government services… without being discriminated base don our SOGIESC),” said Roman.

But Quezon City’s Pride was more celebrity-driven than a political gathering.

As such, many people – particularly non-LGBTQIA people – went to the Quezon Memorial Circle not because they support the LGBTQIA community, but to see for free some of the celebrities set to perform.

These included: drag artists Marina Summers, Naia, Deja, Russia Fox, Barbie Q, M1ss Jade So, Feyvah Fatale, Astrid Mercury, Tiny Deluxe, Lady Gagita, ØV CÜNT, Mrs. Tan, Matilduh, Hana Beshie, Viñas DeLuxe, Bernie, Brigiding, O-A, Captivating Katkat, Maxie Andreison, Jean Vilogue, Maria Christina, Marlyn/Heart Burns, Elvira, Pura Luka Vega, Precious Paula Nicole, and Mac N’ Sheesh.

Various Original Pilipino Music (OPM) artists and personalities were also advertised to perform; a handful of these celebrities did not belong to the LGTQIA community, or known to push for LGBTQIA human rights. These included: BINI, Vice Ganda, Denise Julia, Juan Karlos, Janine Teñoso, Raven Heyres, VXON, G22, YML, Elijah Canlas, Nica del Rosario, Justine Peña, Matthew Chang, LESQREW, Janella Salvador, Lance Reblando, Stef Aranas, DJ AYEL, PEABO, GLOC-9, Sandiwa, Paul Pablo, and Kokoy De Santos.

Speaking with other Pride-goers while waiting for the rain to pass along Matalino Street, where vendors – including alcoholic beverages/offerings – were positioned to sell to the revelers, Xander noted how “too many people came not for Pride… but for BINI, the TikTok celebrities”.

This was, for him, disappointing; similar to the “presence of all those (non-LGBTQIA) children whose (non-LGBTQIA parents brought them) in the Quezon Memorial Circle not because they cared about us or what we’re fighting for, but just wanted glimpses of their idols.”

No official figures were released, but at least five people were noted to have collapsed due to overcrowding, and “with stampede threatening to happen at any point in time,” Xander said.

Also apparently, there were no backup plans made to continue the celebrations even with bad weather, and this is even if information on weather patterns are widely available, so the organizers knew of the bad weather beforehand.

With the event cut short, headliners BINI, Vice Ganda, and Gloc-9 failed to perform.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

SMALL STEPS… ALWAYS

With a contentious Pride hosting, at least Quezon City can claim to have other pro-LGBTQIA efforts, including having its own anti-discrimination ordinance.

Earlier in June 22, the LGU also held a graduation event for 394 high school and college students who were unable to participate in their graduation ceremonies because of their gender expression.

The city also offers healthcare services to transgender people who are transitioning.

Pride PH did not directly address all the issues raised during it’s issue-ridden Pride. Instead, in a post-event statement, it stated that “we will need more of this show of force and love letter to national leaders in the crucial six months na kakailanganin natin ang lakas at suporta ng isa’t isa para sa SOGIE Equality Bill at para makamit ang pangarap nating lipunang may pag-ibig at pagkakapantay-pantay (we will need more of this show of force and love letter to national leaders in the crucial six months that we need the strength and support of one another for the SOGIE Equality Bill and to reach our dream of having a society of love and equality).”

For Xander, his first Pride experience was “kulang (lacking)”.

But at least his critique was better than the “worst Pride ever” shouted by those who braved the pouring rain while looking for transportation in the traffic-clogged roads around the Quezon Memorial Circle.

Apparently, Xander said, “we still have a long way to go. And with the likes of Quezon City Pride 2024 giving too much focus on celebrities, and too little push for our rights, I’m not sure we’d get to where we want to go soon enough.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

NEWSMAKERS

Supportive caregivers play an important role in the promotion of wellbeing among transgender, gender-diverse youth.

NEWSMAKERS

For Bahaghari, "the abuses and suppression of rights brought about and taught by the ROTC program highlight its blatant disregard to one's life. The...

NEWSMAKERS

Instead of providing aid to alleviate the effects of the economic distress that many Filipinos are experiencing, "Marcos Jr.’s sole focus is whitewashing his...

NEWSMAKERS

“Payoneer has always been committed to empowering SMBs to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace. The LGBTQIA+ community is a valued member of businesses...

Advertisement