Dec 13, 2017 Last Updated 2:08 PM, Dec 12, 2017
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The 2017 Pride March in the Shoe Capital of the Philippines

 

Forty-eight years after the Stonewall riots which inspired the very first ever LGBT Pride Parade in the world a year later, and twenty-three years after the very first LGBT Pride March in Metro Manila, the Metro Manila Pride March was held for the first time in the city known as the shoe capital of the Philippines, Marikina. The theme for this year’s parade is entitled “Here Together”, emphasizing the need to work and live together in peace and harmony despite the diversity and the differences of everyone in the society. The 2017 parade which was organized in a city that is considered as one of the cleanest and greenest in the Metropolis is truly a resounding success.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community of Metro Manila Philippines reiterated their appeal for approval and legalization of marriage equality when they marched around the city centre of Marikina which embarked and culminated in Marikina City Hall on the sunny Saturday afternoon of June 24, 2017.  Organizers estimated that a total of more than 7,500 participants took part in this colourful event despite the massive opposition from the Catholic Religion in this country, a religion which had been contradicting the LGBT advocacy since the beginning.  Of course, during the parade the religious supporters were seen opposing the LGBT appeal for equality and acceptance but the parade’s participants overpowered the opposition through loud chanting, singing and dancing.

This year’s Pride March garnered significant coverage from the press including CNN Philippines which will strengthen the spreading of the message of this parade’s advocacy. Also present during the parade were Philippine lawmaker Senator Riza Hontiveros, Miss Philippines Intercontinental Katarina Rodriguez, and the Philippine premier movie star Nora Aunor. The presence of celebrities in the Pride March indeed bolstered the LGBTs quest as their participation will help earn numerous publicity for the advocacy.  The mayor of Marikina, Mayor Marcy Teodoro, who is a strong supporter of the LGBT cause, was impressed by the turnout of the participants in the parade. 

It was an afternoon of joy, colours, music, dancing and sound while the rainbow flags with their lively colours dominate the crowd. And the rainbow colours did not only stay with the people, it spread further up in the heavens as an actual rainbow appeared among the clouds in the sky.

 

By Roderick Tubil

 

 

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BUGSO: A Movie About HIV / AIDS Awareness

 

Never in my entire life had I seen a Filipino film that dealt with the topic of HIV / AIDS with so much emotion, depth and technical details.  The title of the movie is BUGSO, which means “coming in great numbers” in English.  And the title of the movie accurately describes the increasing number of people in the Philippines who are getting infected with HIV and AIDS.  And this movie had its premier for public viewing on the night of June 18, 2017 at SM North EDSA in Metro Manila, Philippines. The opening night was hosted by the director of the film Ace Rocha and were attended by the movies’ actors and actresses.

The film revolves around three simultaneous stories of HIV / AIDS tragedies.  And all stories eventually intertwine with each other in a road accident.  And after that intersecting climax, each narrative would end separately with different conclusions.

The first story is about Vanessa (Mercedes Cabral), a migrant nurse working in Dubai so that she could save up for the medical expenses of a sick infant child who was left in the Philippines in the care of her husband Ken (Victor Neri). During a medical procedure where the medical staff were reviving a dying AIDS patient, Vanessa accidentally injected an AIDS infected syringe into her arm causing her to get infected with the virus.  Vanessa was isolated because of the virus and had only a fellow nurse Jam (Izella Agbulos) to support her.  Vanessa was eventually deported back home only to find out that her infant child is already dead and Ken is already having an affair with another woman. Vanessa had to live alone in a house owned by Jam only to deal with gossiping neighbours who eventually kicked her out of the neighbourhood after finding out she had HIV.  During an emotional rage where she was running on the street, she almost got hit by a motor biker who eventually hit a child instead. But instead of getting involved with the rescue, she fled the scene.  Vanessa went in isolation and eventually dies of hunger and the sickness.

The second story is about Nadine (Baby Martin) and his son Ivan (Bon Andrew Lentejas).  Nadine labours as a sexual worker at night to financially support herself and Ivan. Although Nadine uses condoms for protection, she performs oral sex during times she had mouth blisters.  Upon learning that she got infected, Nadine flees from society but leaves behind a letter to Ivan and advises him to get tested for the infection.  Upon learning that he was not infected, Ivan goes into an emotional rage knowing that he and his mother will forever be separated by the infection.  Ivan’s emotional rage led him into a road accident with a motor biker.  Ivan together with the motor biker were brought to the hospital and both eventually survive. Ivan is then adopted by the childless couple who had been his supportive acquaintances. Twenty-five years later, Ivan becomes a medical doctor and his story ends with him giving lectures about HIV and AIDS.

The last story is about Harry (Dong Literal), a financially challenged single man who is a member of a motor bikers club who gets involved in multiple same sex relationships with financially wealthy men to support his financial needs. This idea he got from a fellow motor biker Lester (Kristofer King) who advised him that having sexual relations with wealthy men are safe because they are clean and having sexual relations with them would ease his financial burden. Because Harry got the notion that wealthy men were clean and were not prone to HIV / AIDS, he ended up getting infected for not using any protections during these sexual encounters.  After finding out that he got the infection, Harry goes into a violent rage and confronts Lester with whom he loses a fistfight. He then goes driving in his motor bike which led him into a road accident with Ivan after trying to prevent his bike from hitting Vanessa.  He and Ivan survive the accident and he eventually gets support from his motor biker friends, medical authorities and non-government HIV/AIDS awareness advocacy group lgbtBUS where there is a cameo appearance by the lgbtBUS CEO and I-Arose founder Thomas Fleckner and the lgbtBUS president Regie Pasion.  The story ends 25 years later with Harry together with his remaining surviving motor biker friends commemorating the memories of their departed motor biker club members.

This movie really reflects what is really happening when our society deals with HIV and AIDS.  It shows how the sickness destroys peoples’ lives and their future if people involved do not know how to deal with this issue.  It also enlightens viewers how the infected persons really need emotional support in times of tragedies like these.  It reminds me of movies like Philadelphia.  But one thing that is different with this movie is the inclusion of technical statistical data graphics showing how the number of people getting infected with HIV and AIDS are increasing. Another thing that makes this movie unique are the scenes showing processes on how doctors work in determining how the virus is detected, where the scenes and the camera shots of blood being tested are so intense.  I really recommend this movie for viewing so that we can remove wrong notions about HIV and AIDS and to get more information and advise on how to deal with the sickness.  And hopefully, there would be more movies like this that would educate the movie-goers and would contribute to the removal of stigma against people with HIV and AIDS.

 

By Roderick Tubil

 

 

 

lgbtBUS President Regie Pasion, Movie Director Ace A. Rocha and CEO lgbtBUS Thomas Fleckner

 

Filipino Artist and 'Dad' of Kristofer King Sunny Garcia, Regie Pasion, Int'l awarded movie actor Kristofer King and lgbtBUS CEO Thom as Fleckner

 

 

    

 

... with lead actor Dong Literal

 

Exclusive scenes from the movie:

     

 

 

 

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Bugso, the new movie announced

 

Regie Pasion and Thomas Fleckner, both President and CEO of lgbtBUS Philippines, have important cameo roles in this new Movie coming out soon, and to be shown on DVD and cinemas. This film is very important for the HIV/AIDS awareness and enlightenment. The movie stands out for its natural and 'real life' approach, shifting away from stereotyping. Kristofer King, a straight actor and supporter of the LGBT community, plays also a role. Further, Mercedes Cabral,Vandolph Quizon,Victor Neri and Dong Literal.

lgbtBUS officially and specially thanks the director Ace Aenlle Rocha for choosing lgbtBUS to be a part. 

 

Further thanks go to Sunny Garcia, without this would not be possible!

More about the launch and the movie itself coming soon.

 

 

 

 

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Join us at the Pride March Marikina

 

For all people who are in support of the LGBT community and its cause it is time for one of the "must join" events.

lgbtBUS was the organiser of the first ever Pride March in Marikina last year 2016, and with the help of the local government it all became reality.

More infos soon....

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The lgbtBUS 2nd Fun Run

 

It was an extremely hot Sunday morning on May the 7th, when lgbtBUS held its 2nd Fun Run for the cause of HIV/AIDS awareness.

Regie Pasion, President of lgbtBUS, and CEO Thomas Fleckner held the opening remarks and gave thanks to the Marikina government under Mayor Marcy Teodoro, who is always of great support towards the LGBT community and the activities of lgbtBUS. Special thanks of course went to Dr. Honiely Fernando of the Marikina City Health Office, Sir Rommel Filipe of Marikina Bikeways and Sir Gil Munar of PESO. Gil Munal lead through the event, gave the start shot for the 3km and 5km runs and announced the winners at the end.

lgbtBUS would like to thank all participants that have attended

 

The Start

 

Registration

Thomas Fleckner (CEO lgbtBUS and Founder of ARose) talking to role model Filipino Atheist Roderick Tubil

Female winners

Male winners

Female winners

1st place Male winners 5km with President Regie Pasion of lgbtBUS

 

 

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