Thursday, October 29, 2009

PBB to swap housemates with Finland

After almost a month on air, I was starting to get bored with Pinoy Big Brother (PBB), the Philippines' version of the Endemol-produced hit reality TV show. This week, I only tuned in twice. As the joke goes, according to Ate Vi (that's Vilma Santos for you, an actress turned politician who has a quirky way of speaking), so far so good so far.

This week I learned that the housemates are anticipating a swap where a housemate from the Philippines will be swapped with another from a Big Brother house abroad. This year PBB has a choice to swap with Big Brother in India, Africa, Finland, Turkey and France. A good friend of mine just told me that it's Finland. My friend is Finnish of course that's why he knows. According to him, the Big Brother Finland housemate they are sending to Manila is Katlin (see her pic below). She is 22 years old, an Aries born in Estonia. She moved to Finland when she was 16 and considers her immigration the biggest achievement in her life so far. Katlin is single and works in the grocery business. She likes dancing, drawing, going to the gym and roller skating. She smokes occasionally.

Katlin from Big Brother Finland

Anyway, welcome to Manila Katlin! I hope you enjoy your week on PBB!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I adore Adam Lambert!

I am so loving the cover of Adam Lambert's new album called For Your Entertainment (see pic below). Already it is generating some buzz, good and bad, which is great if you are in show business. Of course, it will not please everybody. But for me personally, I think it is great because it puts the idea of difference or diversity right in the middle of things, which is something transpeople do on a daily basis.

Adam Lambert

I hope Adam's new album's cover will spark discussions about gender that some people are afraid to touch. What do you feel when you see someone like Adam looking all dolled up and androgynous on his album cover? If you think it is different, does it mean it's bad? What is it about the cover that makes you feel uncomfortable? What does this discomfort say about your own understanding of gender and what it means to be a man or woman?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Queen of Cebu

Rain Villagonzalo

I just learned today that a girl by the name of Rain Villagonzalo (see pic above) has won the first edition of Queen of Cebu, a new and prestigious pageant for Cebuana transpinays. Rain, who is Cebu-based, was Miss Philippines and she bested 20 other beautiful Cebuanas representing different nations of the world for the title of Queen of Cebu Universe. Completing her court are Miss Lebanon, Queen of Cebu World and Miss Spain, Queen of Cebu International (See pic below).

The Queen of Cebu Court

Cebu, which is also known as the Queen City of the South, is home to some of the Philippines' most beautiful transsexual women. This Saturday night, 24 October 2009, the coronation night of Queen of Cebu proved this all the more. Queen of Cebu (see poster below) was organized by a group of fashion designers called Clothes For Life and it promises to rival the biggest and most prestigious pageants for trans women in the Philippines like the Miss Amazing Beauties. Incidentally, the coronation of the Amazing Philippines pageant happened on Friday evening, 23 October 2009. Because I was busy, I missed it. But I was told that Bem Bem May Razada, Candidate No. 13 holds the crown this year. Congratulations Bem Bem!

Queen Poster

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We Dare We Care campaign launch

With the STRAP girls

Last night, 24 October 2009, Saturday, I attended the launch of We Dare, We Care (WDWC), a campaign that seeks to mobilize and unite the local TLBG community and raise Philippine society's awareness of the issues facing TLBG Filipinos.

The dress code was black and white which explains why I was dressed like I was last night (see pic below).

Black and white

It was a well-attended affair and many people showed up (see pic below). WDWC was originally conceived by various organizations including Single Guys Online, Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City, Iftas (which means light and is a TLBG coven), Rainbow Bloggers Philippines, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Advocates for Youth (GABAY),and OutPhilippines.

Guests of WDWC

The organizers created a video of selected people who embodied the spirit of daring and caring for the TLBG community and they showed it during the program. I was one of those selected. After the video presentation, we were called in front to give a solidarity message (see pic below). My message centered on transgender people who exercise their right to define their gender identity because they CARE about a person's right to self-determination.


I have high hopes for this campaign because the launch is just the start. The TLBG groups involved in the campaign have an exciting goal they want to reach next year. I want to surprise you all with that if it does push through. In the mean time, congratulations to all the groups that have come together for the good of all TLBG Filipinos. After the ceremonies, the girls decided to cap the night off with coffee and pastries at a nearby Starbucks where we discussed what happened during the launch and what more needs to be done in terms of pushing for greater trans involvement and visibility in the campaign. It was agreed that it will be a good idea to hold Trans 101 workshops for free with all the organizations involved in the campaign. I hope we will be able to find the time and resources do this soon.

Coffee with the girls after