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At The Rainbow Bar: A space for Cordilleran LGBTQs

Patrick King Pascual discovers At The Rainbow Bar, which aims to be a venue where LGBTQ people can be who they want to be without being judged by other people. “We are not here to milk money from LGBTQ people. We just want LGBTQ people here in Baguio to have a place they can call their own,” owner Tita Bootz Yabut says.

It’s now probably one of Baguio’s main attractions for LGBTQ people. Though it may not have flashy interiors nor the addicting “THUMPA! THUMPA! that most LGBTQ spaces in Manila offer, it serves as (arguably) the only place in the Cordillera region where LGBTQ people can freely hang out and be themselves without worrying about being judged (at least by non-LGBTQ people).

Located at the 4th level of the NRC building on Abanao St., Baguio City, At The Rainbow Bar is attempting to change the landscape of the LGBTQ nightlife in the “Summer Capital of the Philippines”.

“I wanted to create a space that specifically caters to LGBTQ people. Although there are already a lot of new bars and clubs here (in Baguio), LGBTQ people are still left to comply with the rules made by these bars – like they are not allowed to ‘cross dress’ or wear make-up; they are prohibited to show their affection, like kissing their partners; and many other things. They can’t be themselves,” Tita Bootz Yabut, owner of At The Rainbow Bar, said.

And so At The Rainbow Bar started to operate last May. So far, it has attracted many tourists, now-regular patrons from different parts of the region; and it has hosted several advocacy events for the LGBTQ community.

During weekends, it offers different events for its patrons, like open mic nights, stand-up shows with impersonators, bikini open and beauty pageants, concerts for a cause, Metropolitan Community Church of Metro Baguio services and talks, and HIV awareness events, among others.

“We are not just a bar.  Although the building owner discourages us to play very loud music.  That’s why we can’t really have a dance floor here.  But we find other ways to entertain our guests. And these events are not just for fun,” Tita Bootz said.

At The Rainbow Bar may not be as eye-catching, nor does it offer a unique drink list like other bars (think Palawan 2 in Cubao), but hey, this might be a good option for you to spend your evenings in Baguio City while you enjoy a bottle beer and watch entertaining shows.

At The Rainbow Bar is a space specifically created for LGBTQ people. It’s a place where they can be who they want to be without being judged by other people. We are not here to milk money from LGBTQ people.  We just want LGBTQ people here in Baguio to have a place they can call their own,” Tita Bootz ended.

At The Rainbow Bar is open every night until the wee hours of the morning.

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 For more information, visit At The Rainbow Bar.

Living life a day at a time – and writing about it, is what Patrick King believes in. A media man, he does not only write (for print) and produce (for a credible show of a local giant network), but – on occasion – goes behind the camera for pride-worthy shots (hey, he helped make Bahaghari Center’s "I dare to care about equality" campaign happen!). He is the senior associate editor of OutrageMag, with his column, "Suspension of Disbelief", covering anything and everything. Whoever said business and pleasure couldn’t mix (that is, partying and working) has yet to meet Patrick King, that’s for sure! Patrick.King.Pascual@outragemag.com

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