Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inside the Miss Queen Philippines Beauty Pageant

One of the exciting things to look forward to in this year’s celebration of LGBT Pride is the staging by Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines of a beauty pageant after the parade on 6 December 2008 along Ma. Orosa St. in Manila. Below is the write-up on this ground-breaking TFP project.

The program organizers of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride March in Manila have been known to stage impromptu beauty contests within the post-parade program. Contestants are usually handpicked for coming to the Pride March in intricate attire and are then asked to gamely compete for the Best Costume award in beauty-pageant fashion.

This year, Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines changes all that by bringing to you a real beauty contest featuring only the most beautiful and the smartest transgender beauty queens from all over the Philippines. Miss Queen Philippines will be the official Pride Queen of the 2008 Manila Pride March: Parade, Program, Pageant and Party and she will proudly reign until the next LGBT Pride March.


Two phases
As it aims to showcase the beauty and talent of transpinays (Filipina transgender women), Miss Queen Philippines will have two phases: a pre-pageant and coronation night. The pre-pageant night will happen on 28 November 2008, Friday, 7:30 pm at Palawan 2 Bar, Yale St., Cubao, Quezon City. The pre-pageant night also serves as TFP’s pre-pride party and fundraiser for the 2008 Manila Pride March. Tickets to the pre-pageant are at Php200 with one free drink. Part of the proceeds will go to TFP.

The second phase of the contest will happen on the day of the LGBT Pride March on 6 December 2008. The Miss Queen Philippines contestants will join the parade and after the advocacy speeches and the various campaigns of TFP 2008, the Pageant proper will commence featuring the finalists who made the cut after the pre-pageant night.

The candidates and the pageant
This year, TFP in cooperation with BRIC, an events-management company, is proud to present 18 lovely beauties who are all reigning beauty titlists. The Pageant on December 6 in Ma. Orosa St. after the Pride March is surely a must-see as these 18 women celebrate their unique talent and beauty by competing in Long Gown, Casual & Swim Wear and answering the much awaited Final Question.

Live, love and unite with Pride! Watch the pre-pageant and coronation night of the Miss Queen Philippines and take pride in the beauty of your transpinay sisters!

Friday, November 21, 2008

2008 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) in Manila

Below is a post written by the secretary of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), Joy Cruz on the events we're holding to commemorate TDOR in Manila.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is an event in the LGBT community established to honor and remember those who were killed because of anti-transgender prejudice (transphobia). It was founded to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the "Remembering Our Dead" web project and a candlelight vigil in 1999 in San Francisco, California. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in hundreds of cities around the world.

Following this worldwide and decade-long tradition, the Society of Transsexual Women in the Philippines (STRAP) will sponsor three activities on November 22 and 23, 2008. The first activity dedicated to the Transgender Day of Remembrance is the Trans Dialogues 1 which will happen on November 22, 2008 (Saturday, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM) at the Bernal Gallery UP Film Institute, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. It is an open forum where the issues and challenges of living as a transgender person in the Philippines will be discussed. Co-sponsors for this event are Ang Ladlad, the national organization of LGBT Filipinos and Rainbow Rights Project, a legal and policy think tank composed of lesbian and gay lawyers.

This will be followed by a solemn ceremony at the Order of St. Aelred Chapel in 82-D Masikap Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City at 5:30 PM on November 22. The STRAP Ladies will introduce during this time of prayer a new tradition, the Tree of Hope, which will symbolize the brave souls who have gone before us and will serve as a reminder that their lives were not lost in vain.

It will culminate with a mass and a candle ceremony on November 23 (Sunday, 5:30 PM) at the Metropolitan Community Church in the Philippines, 2580 A. Bonifacio Street Barangay Bangkal, Evangelista, Makati City.

Please join us during these events as we remember the dearly departed souls from our community.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PRIDE EVENTS this weekend

This year, I am so happy to announce that so many new organizations, establishments and individuals are helping Task Force Pride (TFP), the official Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) network that has been organizing the annual LGBT Pride March in Manila since 1999, stage the 2008 Manila Pride March: Parade, Program, Pageant and Party, envisioned to be the biggest LGBT event of the year.

Just this weekend, three events are lined up that will benefit TFP. On Saturday, the Gay and Lesbian Activist Network for Gender Equality (GALANG) will hold the second screening of GALANG@Cinekatipunan at Mag.Net Katipunan.

This is a solidarity event so GALANG is holding the screenings of notable local and foreign LGBT movies on all Saturdays of November for free. I went to their first screening to plug the Pride March last Saturday when they showed D.E.B.S., a comical Charlie's Angel's like-movie with high school characters. It was a fun and intimate affair. Everyone was laughing at the ridiculous twists of the movie and the campiness of its characters. If you want to see what other movies are in store for the rest of the month, just go to the GALANG website.

This Saturday night, Club Government is holding a fundraiser for TFP. Dubbed, MAN HUNT, the male, bikini-open like event promises a feast of male beauty. I'm hoping TFP supporters will troop to Club Government this Saturday for this smoking hot event.


On Sunday, LGBT bloggers will meet in solidarity and song as AJ Matela, author of the blog, Bakla Ako, May Reklamo? organizes the first LGBT Bloggers' Night at a karaoke place, Red Box at Greenbelt 3 starting 7 pm. The event is meant to organize an LGBT bloggers' contingent to the Pride March on 6 December in Malate, Manila. Go to AJ's blog to pre-register. Also on that night, Rainbow Bloggers Philippines, a blog roll/network of LGBT bloggers will be launched.


I am happily looking forward to this weekend. I know it's going to be a fun one and am hoping to see old and new faces at these events. For more information, by the way, please visit the web site of the 2008 Manila Pride March.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unite with PRIDE.MARCH!


Join the grandest Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) event of the year, the 2008 Manila Pride March: Parade, Program, Pageant and Party. For more information, visit

The Danish Girl

I was on the PC late last night sending out emails related to organizing the Pride March here on December 6 when I heard the late night news mention the words "transsexual" and "Nicole Kidman" in the same sentence. Of course I looked. It turns out that the Oscar-winning statuesque Australian beauty is set to play Lili Elbe, considered the world's first transsexual woman in The Danish Girl, the best-selling first novel of David Ebershoff.

The novel has been translated into several languages and the movie based on it boasts of a casting coup. Lili Elbe, formerly Einar Mogens Wegener, was married to another artist Gerda Gottlieb. After Lili had undergone several gender-affirming surgeries, the King of Denmark invalidated ther Wegeners' marriage. Gerda, in the movie, is going be portrayed by Charlize Theron.

I haven't read the novel but Lili and Gerda's story is a fascinating one. Google them to see. Myself, I can't wait to see the movie. Incidentally, Denmark where Lili was born is going to be the venue for the next World Outgames in the Summer of 2009. Perhaps the World Outgames in Copenhagen can celebrate this Hollywood victory!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Barack Obama

Illinois Senator Barack Obama is the new president-elect of the United States of America. I am so moved and touched by this victory. Congratulations to the American people for believing in and voting for change!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Amazing Philippine Beauties 2008

A group of us went to see the coronation night of Amazing Philippine Beauties 2008 on 24 October 2008, Friday at around 10 pm at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex in Pasay City. I was not surprised that, when we got there, there was already a sizeable crowd waiting to enter the Manila Film Center, one of the many buildings in the CCP Complex and home to the Amazing Philippine Theatre (APT), which according to its web site is the biggest “transvestite” theatre in Asia and sponsor of the now prestigious beauty pageant for Filipina transgender women.


According to those who have been watching the Amazing Philippine Beauties pageant closely, there was a time when the contest was not able to fill up entire rows of seats. The Philippines being a beauty-pageant-crazy country, that has been slowly changing in the last 6 years. And this year was a different story indeed. Not only were all seats taken it was also, in theatre parlance, an SRO (standing room only) crowd that night.


Apparently some candidates invited entire neighborhoods including their boyfriends, relatives and friends to see the show. And they were not mere spectators mind you. I saw whole rows of supporters who brought various props to cheer their candidates on including flash cards bearing the number of their candidate raised up at moments when the candidate was on center stage and balloons which were waved in the air every time their candidate received a citation, mention or award.

It was an okay show overall made more enjoyable by the very energetic audience. My main complaint is that it was too long and could have done without too many segments. Also for some reason it was very hot inside the Manila Film Center that evening. Apparently the Korean company which owns APT decided to cut costs and didn’t turn on the air conditioning full blast. The gay couple who accompanied us to the show couldn’t take the heat and just headed home.


This year’s winner is Angelika Santillan shown above with judge Dr. Sam Winter, author of Transgender Asia Research, and her runner up, Rosa Garcia who I was rooting for. Angelika bagged several awards while Rosa won best swim suit and was just absolutely stunning in her long gown. Oh well, to be second best is better than nothing. Anyway congrats to both of you girls! You deserve it. :)