Happy (Gay) Pride to my brothers & sisters who were at the march yesterday!
If you are not from Manila, you probably wouldn’t know that Gay Pride is being celebrated here in the month of December, as the month of June is not an appropriate month for us, because it’s the time where our country experience frequent typhoons, so that is the explanation.
So this year’s theme is the same one, like the last two years, and it’s to pass the “anti-discrmination” bill in the Senate here.
This year, I joined the contingent of “Project Equality, spearheaded by no other than Jonas Bagas, who is confident as ever that this new grouping will fill the void that currently exists in the LGBT rights movement in this country, by taking action on several fronts. You can read about Jonas & his good-hearted fights for our rights here.
My attendance this year was un-organise, cos basically I didn’t put enough effort to have a group to go with me, so I went off alone. I arrived past 3pm already at Remedios Circle, where everyone joining the march conglomerates. It was nice to see some familiar faces, and one of them is a guy I met two years ago in the same event, Eon. He was with a girl friend named Jodie, whom I clicked with right away. So yes, I end up having the two of them as my company.
One of the new thing about this march is that for the first time in its 14-year history, the generally festive atmosphere was tarnished with placards and calls for “repentance” from church-based anti-gay protesters, which is strange, because the local church community would never engage in this manner. Yes, the protesters weren’t local, they’re foreigners. I mean come on, how can they be so sure that “god” approve of what they’re doing?! Good thing that the progressive and gay-affirmative Metropolitan Community Church opposed them with banners emblazoned with the apt retort “Would Jesus Discriminate?”.
Of course, the bitchy in me couldn’t help it, so I also shouted back “God couldn’t careless!”. And Eon sarcastically joined with his “Ugly people can’t go to Heaven”!.
I guess this was all perfect, because it’s happening, to put it philosophically.
Anyway, as the march ended the three of us had a break, over a cup of coffee at Cafe Adriatico, yes, we decided it’s better to support a local company rather than the monster Starbucks coffee shop. And it was just oh so fine. I had a real & juicy conversations with Eon & Jordie about things that excites us and all.
After spending an hour or so with them, I told them I had to go to a Christmas party in the area, so we agreed to meet after, for a dance in the street of Orosa, where the program & dance is happening.
So I arrived at the Christmas party, of this apartment block alone and with no-one that I know that well. I was fortunate enough to be invited by Chiqui whom I met the week before at her stall in Legaspi Village, yes the Organic Market that happens every Sunday. Chiqui welcomed me in her place so warmly, that I felt at home already. She introduced me to all the people in her flat, including her brother & his lovely wife, and also her charming father – whom I had a stimulating conversation about Buteyko, the breathing technique that I’ve been practising for the last 8 years and that I’ve been spreading the word about to support the work of my dear friend Jac. So that was that, and slowly but surely the room starts to be in action, people start coming & going.
Just to give the gist, every year when they have this Christmas party, the entire apartment block becomes “one big living room”, where all residents of each unit & their invited guests can come & go to everyone’s living room (and bedroom too).
Delicious food are served. All kinds of booze are up for grabs. And each living room have some kind of entertainment, from live jazz to live DJ performance, yes the whole thing was a trip. And I wasn’t even on drugs.
Familiar faces from media come and goes, Politicians and their kids lurks, Restaurateur and business people converse. Models and wannabes strutting their stuff. And me, overwhelmingly happy & blessed to be part of all this.
My plan to stay for only an hour or two, stretches up to 7 hours!!!, yes that’s how much fun it was for me.
The highlights for me in this party was 1.) to be toured around by Chiqui & Margarita, and seeing most of the living space of each resident, 2.) to hear a non-mainstream jazz singer bring the house down – thanks to Ms. Sandra Viray, you are the bomb! She did two Gershwin songs that I just oh-so-loved!, 3.) to have a moment with a little kid who was there, having fun at his age and just being “left in the middle” by his cool parent & aunt, and 4.) to be able to converse with people that I don’t have in common with, but ending up liking them, and managing a reasonable conversation, and even dancing with some of them. So that was a good social exercise for me.
Thanks to you Chiqui, and of course Karen & Mikko for having me introduced.
So after 7 hours of my stay at the party, yes I still managed to keep my word and followed Eon & Jordie at Orosa Street, where the two of them are dancing their shoes out. A few were dancing on the street but not enough to call it a scene, I guess some people are still shy & not-so-willing to let their hair down.
As the night progress, Eon & Jordie are in & out of Bed, where they’ve been dancing, I didn’t go in, cos I thought the 400 pesos door charge was rather expensive, I know that they sponsored the event & all but I didn’t that amount is quite fair, but I guess I was just in a stingy mode.
Anyway, I was happy to mosey the street of Orosa, look out for familiar faces, which I happened to see some, so I came up & greet each one of them with “happy pride” smile, some are responsive and some are plain as day, uninterested.
I also waited for Eon’s main squeeze for the night, Earvz to arrive at the party so he can join us for a last minute dancing.
It’s 5.am when we left Orosa, and a big night out like this needs some topping up of lost energy so how do we do it, we topped off the night by having a snack at Aristocrat’s Cafe at Rajah Sulayman, it was an unhealthy thing to do before going to sleep, but I know my game anyway, and I would never go to sleep with full stomach, so I was happy to let go and just joined in. After gluttonising, we bid each other goodbyes & head off to our direction.. home.