One of the highlights of my recent trip to Taipei was that I and my friends got to attend the biggest gay pride parade and party in Asia! Me, MJ, JB and Willie were among the 130,000 people who attended the event.
The energy and vibe that night was truly brighter than my future! Hahaha! The ability to connect with gays from all around the world was truly an international experience. And since we are foreigners in Taipei, we somewhat let loose for there weren’t any conservative watchful eye to answer to (like if we were back home in Manila). We knew no one in the event yet everyone was joyful and very welcoming.
Though we arrived a little late, we still got so awe-struck by the people! There were Drag Queens and Kings, there were Queer Super Heroes, there were Cosplayers, there were Happy Smiling Angels, student protest groups and tons of fit non-heterosexual abdominal muscles flashing!
I never hesitated asking interesting people to take their photos with MJ and Willie and no one refused! We were like being a part of the big LGBTQ+ family fighting for the same cause.
When we joined part of the pack who started to head home to their respective vibrantly amazing lives, I took the chance of buying a bracelet as a souvenir. This trinket signify that I took part on being one with the happy rainbows that day.
Siksik, liglig at umaapaw is an old and frequently used Filipino phrase that is often linked and associated with worldly blessings or material wealth. These are sets of adjectives which means jam-packed, brimful and overflowing.
Siksik, liglig at umaapaw is how I would describe Jun Lana’s the movie entitled Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes (translation: The Two Mrs. Reyes), the first Filipino movie I’ve seen this year. Prior to watching with colleagues, I knew that this is somewhat a comedy movie with gay inclinations, thus, I expected that it shall be a typical Filipino comedy movie that will be nothing but a lampoon, slapstick and mockery of Filipino gayness. I am glad that I was wrong.
photo obviously is not mine… got it from abs-cbn star cinema’s promo write-up
The movie is light yet full of heart. Kids won’t enjoy it but adults will truly have fun for it tackles snippets of the wide spectrum of handling adult relationship and sexuality. The movie is siksik, liglig at umaapaw with virtues associated to maturity like braveness on accepting and outing the inner confines of one’s true gender or from having vengeful emotions to understanding humanoid character or from being a disgraced spouse to acceptance on the falsehood of humanity.
Actually, the movie is siksik liglig at umaapaw with the intricate and imperfect nature of love. And since love is imperfect the director was able to cleverly and effectively narrate such imperfections through humor, fun entertainment and laughter yet such narrations are siksik, liglig and umaapaw with good human values and virtues.
The Pride Month is over yet rainbow flags will never be folded and kept inside treasure trunks of the LGBT community. The waving of these colorful flags will continue to signify the unremitting fight for rights and equality.
This is of course except for the Chechen Republic which is the worst place to live for the members of the LGBT community. In that part of the globe, rainbow flags are kept in the innermost trunks and queer thoughts will forever be suppressed in the deepest annals of their soul.
mr. razman kadyrov
Last weekend, I happen to bumped into an old YouTube video. After watching this fun and funny video, I wonder what the leader of Chechen Republic would feel after viewing it. Will he be beaming with smile and even laugh while watching such an innocent and harmless kids who happen to be gay? Or will he get so furious he will order his military troupes to fly nuclear missiles to the Philippines so as to eradicate these naïve and blameless kiddos? And if these kids were living in Chechnya, would he order that these happy minors be abducted and held captive in a gay concentration camps?
Aside from wondering what the Chechen Republic leader would feel, I am curious how the “free” kids of Chechnya enjoy being kids. Are they as unregimented and as diverse like the kids here in my country? Are they able to strut spontaneous moves the way kids here strut their stuff?
With all these incomprehensible questions, all I could think of is being glad that these kids are happy living in a free country like the Philippines! These cute kids may not be rich and powerful but they sashay away with happiness…
Stupid as it may sound, but my preconceived idea of the gay mecca in America is that the streets are filled with pink elephants, happy unicorns, colorful fairies, gentle dragons and sparkling angels. All of these were erased when I got to walk the streets of Castro District in San Francisco.
The Castro is considered San Francisco’s (if not USA’s) gay-friendly epicenter. It actually has glitzy bars and restaurants, flamboyant shops and of course a historical theater. You would know that you have entered this area when lampposts are donned with rainbow flags and zebra lanes are in rainbow colors.
But what I had was a quiet walk in the Castro. I was nevertheless left to realize that the area is a thriving marketplace for all things gay. While I grasp on the sidewalk historical plaques/markers representing past LGBT icons, it was not difficult to recognize that the area is catered to people who identify with the LGBT culture. Actually, passing through a coffee shop seated outside were two young men kissing. And wall murals and posters abound in the area about gay rights and human rights.
at the steve harvey plaza, milk!
The streets may have been calm and quiet on the time of my visit, but I can truly feel the lingering colorful gay spirit in the atmosphere and the unabashed zest for life of The Castro.