The LGBTI community in the Philippines will hold its 19th annual pride march on Saturday in the capital city of Manila.
The Metro Manila Pride March will leave from Remedios Circle in Malate, Manila on Saturday, 7 December at 3pm to wind its way through the city and will be followed by an entertainment program featuring talents from The Library Comedy Bar, BED Manila, and other LGBTI performers.
The Metro Manila Pride March is themed ‘Strength in Colors’ in 2013 and marks the successes of the LGBTI rights movement in the Philippines, including the participation of more LGBTIs in politics, approval of anti-discrimination ordinances in a handful of cities, a newly filed anti-discrimination bill in the Philippines Congress, and a more unified effort to fight HIV and AIDS.
This year’s event will also highlight the plight of Filipinos who were hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan - known as Yolanda inside the Philipppines - and Amnesty International Philippines will be the beneficiary of donations collected during the Metro Manila Pride March in 2013.
According to Jade Tamboon, coordinator of Task Force Pride, which co-organized Metro Manila Pride March 2013, this year’s event is part of the LGBTI Filipino community's response to a national tragedy in which many lost homes or loved ones.
‘Pride will be the action that brings together the LGBTI Filipino community to help the rest of the nation,’ Jade said.
‘We also have members of the LGBTQ community who were among those who were affected by Yolanda, and some of us have relatives and loved ones who were lost or missing.
Tamboon said the LGBTI community was ‘no stranger to being victims of oppression and a harsh environment, but we endure and we survive.’
‘That is one message we might want to give to the Yolanda survivors: despite losing a lot of things, they survived and they can recover.’
The Metro Manila Pride March is the longest running LGBTI pride event in the Philippines and all of Asia, and began in June of 1994 as an event to commemorate 25th anniversary of New York's Stonewall Riots.