Your early holiday shopping will help bring relief to the Visayas.
BAGA Manila, Bazaar Pilipinas and A.Venue Mall present BANGON VISAYAS!, a fundraising bazaar for the benefit of victims of the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda.
Artisan sellers from Bazaar Pilipinas will showcase unique locally crafted and handmade wares, dry goods, and special vintage items.
Bazaar proceeds will be donated to the Philippine National Red Cross. Cash and in-kind donations will also be accepted from bazaar guests and buyers.
BANGON VISAYAS! will run on November 29 and 30, from 2pm until 2am, at the A.Venue Mall Open Parking, Makati Avenue, Makati. The bazaar will coincide with Baga Manila’s Park & Bargain second anniversary.
While drinking with friends last night, we were talking about ghosts. Not just ghost stories, but ghosts in the apartment and neighborhood.
One friend, Greg, claimed he can feel spirits. So did Acee. I told them that I always get the feeling of unseen presence in the apartment. I frequently catch shapes at my peripheral vision, but rationalize them as mundane objects. However, I rarely experience these, and it was abnormally frequent after moving to Pasig.
Both Greg and Acee said there is a presence frequently in the balcony which sometimes crosses the stairs to the bathroom. At least it seems benign.
Acee recalled various incidents from their old apartment: People outside seeing strangers at their balcony. Neighbors hearing strange arguing noises downstairs even if no one was home. The worst was what Acee’s ex saw through the video chat screen after Acee stepped out to go to the toilet: an unknown man physically assaulting a woman at the apartment’s hallway.
“He looked really pale when I got back,” she recalled, as her ex told her what happened.
A little further from our apartment, at the village playground and basketball court, Greg said there were three women. Unlike in our apartment, they have a heavier, more malignant presence. Erik, who used to live next to that playground, admitted that the malignant atmosphere was one reason they moved out. His housemates frequently experience waking from similar nightmares at the same time. That area often gives me goosebumps when I cross it, even during daytime.
“It’s nice that we’re scaring ourselves of these stories while in this house,” commented Greg after another story.
“But it’s All Saints Day!” I replied. “Isn’t it appropriate?” Even better, it was already past midnight at that point, so we actually are remembering All Souls Day.
A good question from the Geeky Guide: Are we over-complicating the LGBT identity discussion?
I agree with some of the points Rocky raised in his entry but wanted to answer some of his questions. However, I ended up typing a really long reply, I decided I’d turn it to a blog post instead.
Are things like SOGIE and the Genderbread Person the best first steps for LGBT education in the country? Just looking at are still-rising rates of HIV infection in the country and one can’t help but feel that we’re more like early 1980′s America in terms of both HIV awareness and perhaps the state of LGBT rights and understanding. Is it arguable that concepts like SOGIE are too advanced? Or are we thinking too little of people?
Is SOGIE too advanced? Maybe. Are we thinking too little of people? Maybe not.
After all, people are what determined what those letters in LGBTIQ stand for. Specifically, we who identify ourselves within those letters. Except that, again and again, we’ll encounter situations when “LGBTIQ” becomes too limited or even too restrictive. Terms like “bakla” or “lesbiana” carries several connotations for different people, there is often more disagreement over the use of those terms rather than encouraging the understanding and acceptance these descriptive terms for gender should be bringing.
Real world example: In some urban poor areas in the country, the terms “lesbian” or “transman” are not accepted. Many of the butch women prefer the term “tomboy”, a concept that is sometimes a mix between butch lesbian and transman. Women who are girlfriends or wives of tomboys are not considered lesbians, either. They are seen more like straight women who happen to be in a relationship with a tomboy.
On the male side, a blogger named Dalumat once wrote about guys who are “tunay na lalaki”. These are men who get into relationships with very effeminate gay men or with transwomen. They are not gay, and the ladies who seek them do not wish to be in a relationship with “gay men”; they are referred to as “tunay na lalaki” (real men). Many will perhaps treat the relationship as money-based (the girlfriend will spend for these men), except that in some cases it isn’t. But they’re not gay, nor are they bi; they are straight men.
So there is a need to describe the variety within human gender and sexuality while using as few of the pre-existing neutral categories and terms as possible because in reality, terms like “gay” or “lesbian” are not enough to describe reality. While we may not need to put all attention on plotting the range of human sexuality against a SOGIE graph, some understanding of it can help remove the feeling of otherness of people who doesn’t fall within the existing categories we currently use.
Like the case for MSMs among HIV/AIDS and STI programs. The natural assumption of many of us is that men who engage in sex with other men are gay or bisexual, even though some of them will not us those terms (as I pointed out in “tunay na lalaki”). Gender identity and sexual behavious are actually two seperate things (hence the creation of the neutral term MSM: “men having sex with men”); understanding that idea can help health workers reach out critical MSM groups without giving those MSMs the discomfort of being labelled “gay”.
Wait a minute. Men who have sex with men but are not gay? Are we encouraging homophobia here? Maybe, maybe not. But it is a reality that some men engage in sex with other men not because of homosexual attraction. Instead of discussing which appropriate terms to us, it is more important to reach out to critical populations and assure them that they will not be judged to be one thing or another based on who they sleep with.
An even more important (I believe) application of SOGIE ideas is how it can be used by educators and guidance counselors in helping youths that are first coming into terms with their gender and sexuality. Or helping kids that are receiving negative attention for not acting within heteronormativy. This one sector within the LGBT population that is sadly given very little attention to. And yet, helping young people understand early the variety in gender and sexuality can help address other issues LGBTIQ populations face later in life: discrimination, depression, STIs, etc.
A few months back, my boyfriend (who was working on a campaign to make SOGIE simpler and more relatable — it wasn’t easy and we had to drop it) asked me why is it important for someone to learn SOGIE? How can it help someone’s daily experience? It’s a fair question, and something that should be asked more to people who advocate SOGIE understanding. I forgot how I answered my boyfriend and I don’t think I gave a good answer, either. I think understanding SOGIE and its implications can help us by underscoring these ideas:
1. Our actions and expressions are varied.
2. Some actions and expressions are just as valid as others.
3. How we express ourselves and how we act should not be the only basis for judging our and others’ worth as people.
So are we over-complicating the LGBTIQ identity discussion? Maybe. Except that the subject is already quite complicated to begin with. Should we include SOGIE in our discussions of LGBTIQ identity? Yes, we should. Gradually, just like how we are taught complex subjects in schools. We can’t avoid it. But we can lay the foundations to make it easier to understand.
From the Home for the Golden Gays website:
All eyes are on Malate, the heart and home of Manila’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) nightlife as it celebrates the 12th White Party Manila on June 29.
This year, the organizers of the organizers of the 12th White Party Manila choose an LGBT institution to donate some of the proceeds of the event.
“It was unanimous among the members of the 12th White Party Manila when we chose Home for the Golden Gays to bring joy to our lolas who are in need of our love and attention,” according to Raffy Aquino, Secretariat for the 12th White Party Manila.
Internet sensation and well-known Youtube celebrity Sebastian Castro graces the event as the face of White Party Manila. The openly gay model-singer is an advocate of gender equality, widely accepted by the Filipino LGBT community for being proud of his sexuality.
Started in 2001, the White Party is the largest annual gathering of LGBTs and avenue for celebrating equality, unity, and acceptance. Chelu Productions, in coordination with the Malate Business Association, spearheads this year’s White Party celebration alongside several organizations promoting LGBT-related advocacies.
Che’lu Productions donates a portion of the proceeds to the Home for the Golden Gays. A booth for the Golden Gays is also present at the White Party for guests to share their blessing to the lolas of the Golden Gays.
The street party starts at 8PM featuring the latest club music from select DJs, with guest performances and special production numbers. General admission is Php 200 (entrance only) and VIP tickets are at Php 1000 with unlimited drinks.
This was Nolit Aurillo at the Fete de la Musique main stage. The man won the crowd’s attention with his unassuming air and killer guitar playing.
“I was asked to play a Michael Jackson song. I’m not going to do that,” he told the crowd at the start of his set. “I’m going to play A LOT of Michael Jackson songs!”
And with just his guitar, he went to a medley of A LOT of the King of Pop’s famous songs.
Several times, the crowd was singing along, without prompting: Now THAT is a great musician.
He was asked several times to finish his set early for the next band. While each player was only given a few minutes of stage time, that was still a little rude to the old man who was sharing his passion of music to everyone. And everyone else shared it back at him.
The next band onstage took ages to set up; the setup time was probably half as long as their set. They even had to stop after their first song to adjust their equipment.Wtf.
Kids, this is what a real musician is like. This is what “mind-blowing” is; not some giggly girl who can even bother memorizing song lyrics.