Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Accreditation of Bisdak Pride, Inc.



Established nine years ago (November 30, 2005), Bisdak Pride, Inc. was given accreditation during the regular session of the Cebu Provincial Board last December 1, 2014. The date of accreditation was also timely and relevant, December is human rights month. Bisdak Pride, Inc (BPI) is also an accredited organization of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). We hope to complete our accreditation from various government agencies and local government units (Cebu City, DOLE, DOH, DSWD) before the end of first quarter of 2015

Who we are?
P H I L O S O P H Y
Fully aware of our current condition — widespread stigma and discrimination, we reaffirm and assert that:
The advancement and protection of the rights and responsibilities of persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity is part and parcel of our development as a people. The absence of such rights, which is a basic human right, is a hindrance to fully recognize all people as equal.
The government has the responsibility to ensure the full participation of persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity in all aspects of nation-building. And our community has the responsibility to ensure that such rights are recognized and fully appreciated and respected.
Empowering LGBT communities primarily, and non-LGBTs, secondarily, play a vital role in advancing and attaining a truly just and democratic society that is forever grateful of our existence.
V I S I O N: We look forward for a society that is just, humane and democratic. Thus, we cry for EQUALITY and RESPECT.
M I S S I O N: We are committed to ensure the understanding and all-round promotion of the rights and responsibilities of the LGBT community.
G O A L S
1. Assist LGBT organizations in the communities in their efforts to unite and collectively advance their problems and concerns so that their problems are addressed and their participation in community affairs improved.
2. Establish LGBT groups in communities where there is none.
3. Unite with non-LGBT sectors in their struggles and concerns and actively participate in the people’s movement for change.
4. To become a credible resource center in the Bisaya speaking communities on matters related to LGBT concerns.
H I S T O R Y A N D P R O F I L E
Established since 2005, Bisdak Pride, Inc. (BPI) is a product of the First Visayas-Mindanao LGBTQ Leadership Conference entitled, “In The Pink of Health” funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy held in Davao City on September 25-27, 2005.
Contrary to some misguided notion, Bisdak Pride, Inc. is not exclusive to LGBT communities. The interests of non-LGBTs on issues directly related to their relationship with their LGBT brother/s, sister/s and friends are accommodated in this organization. We consider them as honorary members and advocates of LGBT rights.
Bisdak Pride, Inc. is committed to provide all-round educational discussions and other support to LGBT groups and non-LGBTs in order for the former to fully appreciate life’s beauty and the latter to comprehend with much gusto of our existence. For the past several years, Bisdak Pride, Inc. also help in the organizing efforts of several groups and despite very limited resources we facilitated in providing discussions and workshops on the following topics:
P R O G R A M S
1. Queer Politics: ADVANCING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION THROUGH A RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH. Rights and Responsibilities of LGBTs are discussed and helping them in their organizing efforts linked to their sexuality are given due importance in order for them to deal and view their political life and participation effective in community affairs.
2. Queer Health: PROMOTING HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS. Issues and concerns on matters related to health in particular the prevention of STI/STDs and HIV/AIDS are prioritized. Common health problems that LGBTs faced and how to cope with these diseases and illnesses are provided through educational discussions as a preventive measure, primarily. Referral to friendly clinics and medical practitioners are also practiced especially to those who are incapable of medical support.
3. Queer Religion: UNDERSTANDING RELIGION AND SEXUALITY. It is an effective instrument in countering the attack of the “moralists”. Provided primary to focus group discussions, forums, discernments and Bible in context activities to LGBTs.
4. Queer Culture: PROMOTION OF CULTURE AND ARTS. Aimed at popularizing the culture and the arts to the general public wherein the LGBT community is known to excel.

The People

FUNCTIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES  and MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 
Functions
A Board of Trustees (BOT) formulates policies and provides guidance in the overall administration and management of the Bisdak Pride, Inc (BPI). The BOT also facilitates linkages and collaborative arrangements with various organizations within and outside the Philippines. It reviews BPI operations and confirms executive decisions when necessary.
The BOT will be appointed or elected by the members of the Management Committee (ManCom) of the organization. The BOT of the organization will approve the general direction, plans and programs, revisions of the Constitution and By-Laws of BPI. The Board of Trustee will meet once, or twice, as the case may be a year and will discuss and approve the policy directions, organizational updates and mobilization of resources.
Members of the Board of Trustees
Richard Fruelan, MHSS, MHSS, Ed.D.
CHAIR
Assistant Dean, Southwestern University Graduate School of Health, Management and Pedagogy 

Teacher, Paknaan National High School, Mandaue City  
Adviser, ABAKA Gay Association, Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, Cebu City
Karl James Villarmea, MA
VICE-CHAIR
Ph.D. Candidate – Theology and Ethics , Chicago Theological Seminary
Assistant Professor, Divinity School, Silliman University, Dumaguete City
Reagan Maiquiz, MA
VICE-CHAIR
Ph.D. Candidate – Theatre and Performance Studies, Monash University, Australia
Professor, Specializes in the field of literature (poetry), performance culture/studies, and cultural studies, University of the Philippines Los Banos
Palanca Awardee, First Prize, Poetry in Filipino 2009
Dan Arrojado
SECRETARY
Candidate – MA Social Psychology, University of San Carlos
Ronilo Sab-a
ASSISTANT SECRETARY
Barangay Councillor, Barangay Luz, Cebu City
Adviser, SEMGAB – Self Motivated Gays of Barangay Luz, Cebu City
Alvin Truya
TREASURER
Faculty, Department of Mass Communications, Southwestern University C

Candidate, Master in Education, Cebu Technological University
Senior Law Student, University of Southern Philippines Foundation\
Awardee, Best in Radio Program, Catholic Mass Media Awards
Clark Dale Morpos
ASSISTANT TREASURER
SK Chair, Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City
SK Cebu Provincial Spokesperson
Founder, Paknaan Mandaue Gay Association
Sherryl Robles, Ll.B.
Entrepreneur
PRO, Sambag 2 Gay Association
Accountancy Graduate, University of San Carlos
Members
Jose Eleazar Bersales, Ph.D
Manager, University of San Carlos (USC) Press
Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and History USC
Member, National Commission on Culture and the Arts Sub-Committee on Museums
Member, Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Heritage and Culture
Edgar Gahisan, BSN, RN, MAN
Clinical Instructor, College of Nursing, University of Southern Philippines Foundation
Coordinator, ACT Partylist
Member, Alliance of Health Workers
Volunteer Health Worker, Visayas Primary Health Services, Inc.
Junie Ibanez
Community Organizer, Panaghugpong
Maria Antonella D. Codeniera
Psychologist, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center – Psychiatry Department and Cebu Women and Children Center (Pink Center)
Member, Alliance of Health Workers
Volunteer Health Worker, Visayas Primary Health Services, Inc.
Ex-Officio Member
Roxanne Omega Doron
Founder and Executive Director, Bisdak Pride, Inc.
Faculty Member, Department of Economics, School of Business and Economics, University of San Carlos
Writer, DANIEL Magazine

Secretariat, Archdiocesan Discernment Group
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (MANCOM)
Functions
Members of the Management Committee (ManCom) will oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization. In case of staff vacancy, the ManCom will submit replacements to the BOT for approval.
Operational and Project Management
Mobilize financial resources, materials and advocates to create localized programs. Hold large scale fund raising events, apply to government and organizations for grants and contracts in order to raise money for projects. Plan projects, create budgets, keep accounts, reports and communicate with the BOT.
Campaigning and Public Relations
Campaign on issues that directly or indirectly affects the community and achieve large-scale change promoted directly or indirectly through influence of the political system. Will keep the supporters informed and motivated and will maintain a large informed network of affiliate and partner organizations and individual advocates who can be mobilized for events to garner media attention and influence policy changes.
Members of the Management Committee
Roxanne Omega–Doron
Founder and Executive Director
Simeon Arbas-Remata III 
Deputy Executive Director
Studied Development Work (U.P. Diliman) and Environmental Science (U.P Cebu College, on-going)
Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant - International Labor Organization - North Cebu Project
Lucky Lastimosa-Maglalang, R.N.
Secretary and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
Studied Nursing (Cebu Doctors University)
Ronnie Pilapil- Sanchez
Comptroller
Studied Education (Cebu Technological University – CTU) and Masters in Educational Management (CTU, on-going)
Cresologo Bradley-Mondejar
Resource Center Coordinator
Student, Law and Governance (Cebu Technological University)
Jhonrelle Antivo-Berong, R.N.
Project Coordinator
Yaz Cepe
Project Coordinator
Studied Business Administration (Southwestern University)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Health, Human Rights and Development




Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Melbourne School of Population and Global Health based at The University of Melbourne, Australia, recently conducted a focus group discussion (FGD) to gender equality advocates of Bisdak Pride, Inc. on matters related to domestic violence vis-a-vis human rights and development.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lilas Binisaya 2014




PRESS RELEASE

LILAS BINISAYA FILM FESTIVAL


Friday, November 28, 2014–November 30, 2014

Opening: Friday, November 28, from 5:00 to 9:00pm, Free admission

Lilas Binisaya Inc. and Bisdak Pride Inc. are pleased to announce the Lilas Binisaya Film Festival, a competitive short film festival to be held at the Cine Oriente Theater. The event is part of the Cinemas in the Region program funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). This film festival is also endorsed by the Province and City of Cebu and the Department of Education and CHED- Cebu.

A total of thirteen short films have been chosen for the short films in competition program with the following titles; Handumanan sa Usa ka Salida directed by Ivan Karol Martinez, Mga Hunahuna ni Erlinda Bayonita directed by Sheree Tampus, Ang Pagpangita directed by Aprillice Alvez, Damgo ni Magdalena directed by Kier Belleza, Silingan directed by Daniel Bautista, Hipalgan directed by Patricia Joy Martinez, Dream On Bai! directed by Hanz Florentino, Halok directed by Hanz Florentino, Handurawan directed by Jaylou Dari, Kulto directed by Dulcelyn Insong, Mga Patay Nga Bitoon directed by Andrei Karoly "Amaya Han" Hernandez, Urom directed by James Arthur More Oliva and Mugna directed by Kristiana Sayson.


The festival will also showcase the Best of Cebuano Shorts Program featuring Saranghae My Tutor directed by Victor Villanueva, Doktora directed by Christian Linaban and To Siomai Love directed by Remton Siga Zuasola. These are award winning Cebuano short films that have garnered national awards at the CineManila, Cinemalaya and Gawad Urian, respectively.

Lilas Binisaya Film Festival will open with the screening of Ang Manok ni San Pedro, a Cebuano film directed by Joe Macachor in the 1970’s. Considered as one of the highest grossing Cebuano films to date, it catapulted now PB member Julian Daan aka Stevan Escudero to a successful career in radio, TV and local politics. Ms. Pilar Pilapil, a noted Cebuana actress will also grace the opening ceremonies of Lilas Binisaya Film Festival.

The festival’s closing film is Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon, a Lav Diaz film that recently won the grand prizes at the World Premiere Festival in Manila, Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland and Sao Paulo International Film Festival in Brazil.

The grand prize winner of the Lilas Binisaya Film Festival will receive a cash award of Php10,000 and a one year film grant from the Film and Media Arts International Academy (FMA).

Cine Oriente Theater is located at the Collonade Mall in Colon St., Cebu City. 

Lilas Binisaya film festival opens tonight in Cine Oriente
Lilas Binisaya Film Festival opens November 28
Cebuano filmmakers to hold short film festival on Nov. 28-30

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekly Homework (Economics, Second Semester AY 2014-15)

SAMPLE HOMEWORK:





Attention: Econ students


1. Kindly check your weekly homework. Please follow the guidelines (below) when submitting your handwritten report in a recycled short bond paper; margin, one inch (top, bottom, left, right)


Write your,

Name and Course/Year:
Class Schedule and Date Submitted:
Title of economic/business article/s:


Then, comply the following after reading the assigned economic/business article/s:


a. What are the words and phrases you find hard to understand? Please provide your initial understanding of these words and phrases.
b. Do you have a hard time understanding these words and phrases? Why or why not?
c. Provide a brief analysis of the economic/business article/s. The analysis could be visual or written.


Deadline every Thursday for TTH and Wednesday for MW classes.


2. For your online exercises:  


Course Key: NQ2D-KWGJ-4WV6 .  
Student Registration URL: http://login.cengagebrain.com/course/NQ2D-KWGJ-4WV6

However, you can't use the course key without your access code:

3. Grading System: 

35% - Long  (Major) Examinations
25% - Aplia (Online Exercises)
30% - Terminal Report/s
10% - Class Participation 
100% - Total

Final Grade:

50% - Midterm Grade
50% - Final Term Grade
100 - Total (Temporary FG) less incentive/s

4. Terminal Report:  


Midterm Terminal Report:
Final Terminal Report:

Course Outline: 
 
Reference: Arnold, Economics 10th Edition

Week 1 

November 10 - 14, 2014:  Class Orientation; Economics of Scarcity, Chapters 1 and  2
No homework:

Week 2
November 17 - 21, 2014:  Supply and Demand Theory, Chapter 3
Homework: Economic forum cites remaining tasks and Economy under the Aquino administration: Worsening exclusivity (Note: analysis should be comparative
TTH Classes Deadline: November 27
MW Classes Deadline: November 26

Week 3
November 24 - 28:  Supply and Demand Application, Chapters 4 - 5
Homework: Emergency powers not needed for ILP, will only benefit big business and Philippines Electricity Crisis: How Regulatory Capture Undermines Emerging Markets (Note: analysis should be comparative
TTH Classes Deadline: December 3
MW Classes Deadline: December 4

Week 4
December 1 -5, 2014:  PRE-MIDTERM  EXAM
No Homework

Week 5

December 8 - 12, 2014: Elasticity, Chapter 20
Homework: Petron sees stable prices after Pandacan shuts and Lower crude prices don’t always mean lower profits (Note: analysis should be comparative
MW Classes Deadline: December 17
TTH Classes Deadline: December 18


Week 6
December 15 - 19, 2014: Consumer Choice, Chapter 21
Homework: Ports task force’s nightmare scenario: 106% holiday utilization
MW Classes Deadline: January 5
TTH Classes Deadline:  January 5


Week 7 
January 5 - 9, 2015: Market Structure, Chapter 23-25
Homework: Agriculture before the 2016 elections and Value chains for rural development
MW Classes Deadline: January 14
TTH Classes Deadline:  January 15

Week 8 

January 12 - 16, 2015: Agrarian Reform and Market Failures, Chapter 31
No Homework

Week 9
January 19 - 23, 2015 MIDTERM EXAM
No Homework

Answer key


Week 10

January 26 - 30, 2015: Macroeconomics Measurement: Part 1, Chapter 6
Homework: Land conversion, land deals hinder food self-sufficiency and Agriculture emerges from slump
MW Classes Deadline: February 4
TTH Classes Deadline:  February 5

Week 11 
February 2 - 6, 2015: Macroeconomics Measurement: Part 2, Chapter 7
Homework: PHL Oct. infrastructure spending up 6.7% and National gov’t debt rises 1% at end-2014 as overseas borrowing falls
MW Classes Deadline: February 16
TTH Classes Deadline:  February 17

Week 12
Feb 9 - 13 School of Business and Economics WEEK

Week 13 

February 16 - 20, 2015 PRE FINALS WEEK

Week 14 
Feb 23 - 27, 2015 Aggregate Demand and Supply, Chapter 8
Homework: Philippine Economic Update: Pursuing inclusive growth through sustainable reconstruction and job creation (for your report, read page 5-9 only) and Two decades after APEC hosting: Claim of 'turnaround' for PH unfounded
MW Classes Deadline: March 3
TTH Classes Deadline:  March 4

Week 15 

March 3 - 6, , 2015 : Classical Macroeconomics and the Self Regulating Economy, Chapter 9

Homework: CSU freshman with school fee problems commits suicide and Joblessness steadies in 2014 on Q4 hike
MW Classes Deadline: March 9
TTH Classes Deadline:  March 10

Week 16
March 9 - 13, 2015: Keynesian Macroeconomics and Economic Instability: A critique of the self regulating economy, Chapter 10
Homework:  Good wealth, usury, accidental learning: Exploring the defects of capitalism 
and  Taking the cue from Pope Francis: A call to radical business leadership
MW Classes Deadline: March 18
TTH Classes Deadline:  March 19

Week 17 

Mar 16 - 20, 2015 : Special topics: Financial Crisis 2007 -11) ; ASEAN Integration, Chapter 18
What: Forum and film showing Agrarian Reform
When: March 21, 2015, 1pm to 5pm
Where: USC Cafa Theatre
Attendance is a must

Thank you and congratulations ECON 1N studentss
Week 18
March 23 - 27, 2015  FINALS 

T E R M I N A L  R E P O R T :

Terminal Report: Four (4) members per group (i.e. interviewer, documentor, photographer, writer) 

Part I. Look for two articles about the current state of Philippine agricultural sector or anything related to Philippine agriculture, identify the source (author, title, date published and link), and comply the following:

a.) Summary of the articles
b.) Lessons learned

Part II. Visit at least three (3) public market in your locality and identify the location, estimated size, consumers income bracket, day and time of interview. Interview two (2) vendors per public market and find out whether they are selling imported or locally produced agricultural products. Make a list of these products, the countries where they are imported from,  as well as their prices. Do the same for the local products and identify the origin of locally produced agricultural products.

Interview three (3) consumers: 1 male preferably husband, 1 female preferably wife, and a young adolescent preferably 18 to 24 years old . Ask them what agricultural products they usually buy. Do they know if these products are locally produced or imported? Which do they prefer? Why?

Write a narrative report on your trip. How does this affect the local producers? What can you say about the state of the country's agricultural sector? What do you think will happen to our agricultural productivity once the Asean Economic Community (AEC) will start implementing zero tariff to agricultural products within the Asean region?

Submit your handwritten report in a recycled short bond paper, with your name, course and year, class schedule, name of teacher. Attached photos of your visit.


Deadline: March 9 and 10 , for TTH and MW classes, respectively. 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Queer response to twin disasters


When the magnitude 7.2 Bohol earthquake shook parts of Central Visayas on October 15, 2013, and twenty-four days later, followed by super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) whose unequaled strength pummeled a significant portion of the Visayas group of  islands, communities’ were drastically redrawn and millions of lives were shattered and lost.  

The seemingly eternal consequential effect (alarmingly, World Health Organization -- WHO --  released a statement stating 800,000 people with mental health conditions due to typhoon Haiyan) becomes more pronouced because of governments ineptitude that compounded the economic marginalization and social deprivations of the most vulnerable regions in the country. 

To add insult to the already buergeoning suffering of mostly farm workers, peasants and fisherfolks communities affected, government keep on trumpeting the so-called resiliency of survivors as if it will unburden them from the clutches of abject poverty and neglect which they apparently experienced even before the monster typhoon wiped-out their shanties. 

Resiliency, no matter how grand the word is, should be look at from the context of economic capacity of individuals, familes and communities – before, during and after – of every calamitous events. Rather than from the inherent nature of man to survive in the midst of disasters. Individuals, families and communities can only be resilient if their participation in community affairs is democratized and respected and their access to economic opportunities unhampered and sustainable. 

A rainbow in somebody’s cloud

As a response, various local, including our organization, and international organizations poured their limited resources to help the millions affected, because somehow, to paraphrase Maya Angelou’s eternal words, we want to be a rainbow in somebody’s cloud, every time there is a chance. 

The Bohol earthquake, said to be the deadliest earthquake in the Philippines in more than two decades, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), reported 222 dead, 8 missing, and injured 976 people; and destroyed more than 73,000 structures of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed.

Given the limitation of our resources, we partnered with STAND alumni foundation – a student political party at the University of San Carlos – and conducted relief operations in select areas in the province of Bohol. Our relief operations would not have been possible without the many help of the following: Asilo de la Milagrosa run by the Daughters of Charity for giving us space to use in packing goods. Carolinian students, through the Society of Young Business Entrepreneurs (SYBEE), also offered whatever they have, including time, to assist the packaging and as well as the distribution.

Super-typhoon Yolanda, on the other hand, caused cataclysmic damage throughout the Visayan islands, consequently wiped-out not just lives of the most vulnerable sectors and classes, but also towns and cities. 
NDRRMC confirmed 6,300 fatalities across the country, 5,877 of those taking place in the Eastern Visayas. The actual death toll remains unclear; some said it reached more than 30,000; at least 10,000 victims from Tacloban City, Leyte alone. Red Cross estimated that 22,000 people were missing.

Faith-based partnership

Responding to the challenges of an unfriendly time and circumstances, we partnered with Redemptorist Center for Social and Ecological Concerns (REMSEC) of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, three days after Yolanda destroyed whatever was left to our brothers and sisters in affected Visayan islands.
Various organizations and individuals from different corners of the world supported and contributed significantly to our relief operations in three barangays in northern Leyte. We are forever grateful for their trust.

Unite and protect the children


Disaster risk reduction

Five months before the anniversary of super typhoon Haiyan, series of meetings were held to implement a child and adolescent centered disaster risk reduction, initiated by Alternative to Development (A2D Project), a research group for alternatives to development and a non-stock non-profit organization upon the prodding of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines. 



The meetings resulted in a project titled: “Strengthening Capacities for a Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the Municipalities of Bantayan and DaanBantayan in the Aftermath of Haiyan.” 

This project will be implemented by A2D Project—Research Group for Alternatives to Development Inc.,in partnership with Bisdak Pride Inc. (BPI) and the Regional Center of Expertise-Cebu (RCE-Cebu).
The project is a good opportunity to facilitate capacity-building of affected municipalities and introduce a child-centered disaster risk management approach.  

Fully aware of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the project will contribute to integrating child participation in all aspects of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. More specifically, a child’s right to survival, to protection, to clean water and sanitation, to food, to health and to education will be highlighted.

In concrete terms, the project seeks to undertake in the next 12 months institutional capacity development, including the promotion of safer schools and the mobilization of out-of-school youth for disaster risk reduction.

Communications for development
Last October 24-27, 2014, Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) partnered with our organization a human rights group for persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and trained almost twenty advocates for gender equality, especially those affected and survived super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) for a Theater Forum in Bantayan Nature and Eco Resort, municipality of Bantayan, Cebu. 

As the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of thePhilippines, TP maintains its highest standards in artistic discipline, technical skill and professional conduct. They focus not only in honing skills for onstage performance, but also in developing an active audience through use and nurture of the native language as its primary medium for its productions and by bringing performances to various parts of the country in partnership with several institutions such as World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

TP has been involved with various United Nations agencies, notably WHO and UNICEF for various developmental undertakings. They are once again partnering with UNICEF with its Theaterfor Development in a Post Haiyan Context.  For this project, we are glad that TP is collaborating with us to mount and perform a 30 minute play (with theme of DisasterRisk Reduction, Child Protection and Adolescent Health & Sex) using  Theater Forum, an interactive theatre form,  in several affected communities throughout theVisayas region.

As a human rights organization, whose membership includes a significant portion of marginalized young adolescents affected by Haiyan, we are confident that we can contribute, in whatever way for the realization of this project since the issues are directly in-line with our commitment and advocacy.  And even before typhoon Yolanda altered the northern Cebu towns, our organization already conducted developmental activities for the betterment of local communities.

Looking forward

By first quarter of 2015, we will be launching a conference, "The Haiyan Aftermath: Listening to and Understanding the Unheard LGBT Voices in the Haiyan (Yolanda) Affected Communities in the Visayas." 
And in the process, we hope to generate views and finding out the impact of typhoon Haiyan and position LGBT communities in the Visayas on climate change adaptation (CA) and disaster risk reduction and management  (DRRM) and create LGBT advocates as champions and communicators for CA and DRR. 

Because we want CA and DRR part of all development plans.  

The pioneering undertaking is funded by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), a human rights organization powered by grassroots collaboration. 

For several decades and in more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. UUSC’s innovative approaches and measurable impact are grounded in the moral belief that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights. 

We also hope to implement a sports therapy for young adolescents, in partnership with a football club based in Manila to highlight our summer program for the youth. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Unite and Protect the Children


Last October 24-27, Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) partnered with our organization, Bisdak Pride Inc. (BPI), a human rights group for persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and trained almost twenty advocates for gender equality, especially those affected and survived super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) for a Theater Forum in Bantayan Nature and Eco Resort, municipality of Bantayan, Cebu. 

As the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of thePhilippines, TP maintains its highest standards in artistic discipline, technical skill and professional conduct. They focus not only in honing skills for onstage performance, but also in developing an active audience through use and nurture of the native language as its primary medium for its productions and by bringing performances to various parts of the country in partnership with several institutions such as World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

TP has been involved with various United Nations agencies, notably WHO and UNICEF for various developmental undertakings. They are once again partnering with UNICEF with its Theaterfor Development in a Post Haiyan Context.  For this project, we are glad that TP is collaborating with us to mount and perform a 30 minute play (with theme of DisasterRisk Reduction, Child Protection and Adolescent Health & Sex) using  Theater Forum, an interactive theatre form,  in several affected communities throughout theVisayas region.

As a human rights organization, whose membership includes a significant portion of marginalized young adolescents affected by Haiyan, we are confident that we can contribute, in whatever way for the realization of this project since the issues are directly in-line with our commitment and advocacy.  And even before typhoon Yolanda altered the northern Cebu towns, our organization already conducted developmental activities for the betterment of local communities.  

Theatre caravan in Yolanda-affected areas  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Condemnation is incomplete without justice



The death of our dear transgender sister Jennifer Laude of Olangapo City at the hands of suspect American serviceman Joseph Scott Pemberton moved us because Jennifer belongs to an already marginalized group, aptly called sexual minority or community – or those persons with different sexual orientation, gender identity and expression  – commonly known as lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT).

Just recently, the LGBT community is internationally protected by the UN Human Rights Council, including the Philippines, when it voted to support LGBT rights. The UN Human Rights Council has taken a fundamental step forward by reaffirming one of the United Nations’ key principles – that everyone is equal in dignity and rights, said Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbians Human Rights Council.

In 2007, the Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity were released by a group of 29 international human rights experts.

In a press release, it said, “The Principles affirm binding legal standards with which all States must comply. They were adopted by a group of distinguished experts in international law following a meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Among the group of experts are a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN independent experts, current and former members of human rights treaty bodies, judges, academics and human rights defenders.”

In the Philippines, only a handful of cities, namely Cebu, Davao, Quezon, and San Fernando in Pampanga, passed an ordinance protecting the rights of LGBTs. In theory, the passage provides a ‘blanket’ protection, punishing the culprits which violate such rights. An assessment has to be made as to the degree of its implementation, if it is implemented at all.

But the case of Jennifer Laude is different, unique, and troublesome, because it is not just between a man and a transgender woman; it also involves the Philippines and the United States bonded by an unjust and unequal Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in favor of the latter. Here comes the rub: Pemberton is an American serviceman protected under the auspices of VFA.

The unjustness of such military agreement was exemplified by the notorious Daniel Smith case – whitewashed and forgotten. In 2007 Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, a US serviceman was acquitted by the Court of Appeals (CA) of raping “Nicole,” a teenage Filipina.  

On the other hand, we can very well argue to understand the uniqueness of this case by understanding international agreements and conventions supportive of LGBT rights since all of these are well articulated on an international level. Applying it to the Philippine context with our own culture and tradition in relation to our acceptance and tolerance to the practices of gay community is a challenging and daunting task ahead of us.

Nevertheless, regardless of who Jennifer is, a crime is a crime, and we don’t want another “Daniel Smith.”

By Roxanne Omega Doron
Executive Director, Bisdak Pride, Inc.

What does Courtney Act and Rich Fernandez have in common?

Self-proclaimed Courtney Act fanboy Rich Fernandez does a fun and quirky shoot with Filipino photographer Adrian Gonzales. So who is Ri...