Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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 Rich anyway? From liking drag queens to helping push LGBT advocacies to his thousands of social media followers, get to know the guy who is a geeky programmer by day, and a fierce and fabulous party boy by night! Introduce yourself. Who is Rich Fernandez?

Basically, I'm just a web developer with a heart. Haha!
I heard about this quote once, "We become whatever we choose to fill our minds with." I believe that if you're full of negativity, you have to be ready for the consequences. However, if you're keeping positive and if you know how to appreciate the world around you, then it will show you all the happiness this life can offer.

When did it occur to you that you were gay?

I’d like to think I was born gay. From childhood, I’ve never really had a liking for girls and I thought it was normal for me to like boys. It was not until I heard of the word "gay" and saw how it's frowned upon in our society that I’ve come to realize I was one.

What struggles did you face growing up?

It wasn’t going through the bullying and people’s judgment that I found difficult, but rather, I think the greatest struggle for me was to figure out if there was anything wrong with me. I constantly asked myself as to why I felt different from all the other kids. It was not until eventually that I learned I was perfectly normal. That there’s nothing wrong with me. It's our society that needs fixing.

How has your experiences honed you?

I’ve become braver, I guess. When I was young, I was scared of the word "gay" because of the negativity it connotes. Now, being gay is something that I have learned to celebrate.

At which point did you realize that you were happy with your identity? How would you advise others who are going through the same thing?

Just recently, I think. I used to care too much about what other people would think of me before. Prior being out, I was afraid of what my family would think of me. Then when I was out and open, I became afraid of being judged by my own community – gay people may think I'm too gay (read: effeminate) because discrimination still exists within the LGBT community. I think I just learned not to care (about what others say) at some point. You just can't allow that much negativity in your life.
I don't think coming out was really a problem for me. I mean, I never really had to open myself to my parents and tell them I was gay. They already knew it since I was a kid. I think most parents will know that their kid is special if they pay attention close enough.
For all the kids out there who are still struggling, just know that your happiness shouldn't depend on what people think about you. Just live by your own values and be a good person. What's the worst thing they can call you? A fag? Big deal!

What made you realize that you were perfectly normal the way you are?

As a child, I was taught that it was wrong to love people of the same gender. As I grew older, I started to ask myself why. What's wrong if my heart finds it more natural to love another man? Nothing is ever wrong with love, I believe. As long as your heart is pointing you towards a direction that feels right, then follow it.

Did anyone influence you to accept yourself more?

I'm very fond of drag queens. They spit on the walls of a binary gender construct. It feels so “punk-rock” to me. Gender equality in America wouldn't be as recognized as it is now if weren't for them and the people who rallied at Stonewall.

My favorite queen is Courtney Act (look her up if you haven’t!). She's most known for being a finalist in Australian Idol and one of the top 3 in RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6. What amazes me about her the most (besides her unbelievable beauty and many talents) is the fact that she uses her fame as a platform to make change. Fighting for gender equality in Australia, voicing out her ideas on gun regulation laws in America, riding for AIDS life cycle, fighting for trans people's right to use the bathroom they're comfortable with. And that's just to name a few. I hope more people would be as dedicated as her.

How similar or different are you from fellow LGBT?

Hmmm, I really don't know. Although I think that this generation of LGBT is a little more concerned about getting a boyfriend, getting laid, and climbing up the social ladder. Especially now with social media having become a great part of our culture. Most of us would rather use this platform to get likes, hookups, followers, and attention with apps like Facebook, Tinder, and Grindr. What others don't realize is that social media is also a great tool for us to cause change. Social media is giving all of us a voice, but sadly most are taking it for granted.

Where do you think does the LGBT stand in our society now?

Here's the thing. Our society, as a whole, I think is progressive. More and more kids are getting comfortable with their sexuality because they're starting to see the diversity of genders everywhere, especially in mainstream media. And that's a good sign because it means that people are starting to tolerate our existence. But it shouldn't end there. The fight for acceptance will not be over until the smallest and most vulnerable members of our society is treated as equal as the others.

PH dialogue pushes for gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and management

“Strengthening Gender-Responsive Sendai Framework Implementation: Addressing the GIR and Promoting Community Resilience in the Philippines” 

To ensure that the GIR meets the specific needs of Philippines, the partners, in close collaboration with the OCD, facilitated a consultation dialogue “Strengthening Gender-Responsive Sendai Framework Implementation: Addressing the GIR and Promoting Community Resilience in the Philippines” between 20th and 21st June 2017. The meeting was held to identify common challenges that Philippines is facing with regard to addressing gender inequality through DRRM but also to identify key priorities and good practices that should be addressed and promoted through the proposed GIR Programme, The event was also supported by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and attended by gender focal points from various national government agencies, civil society organizations and non-government organizations from different parts of the country.

Round Table Discussion: The Gender Dimensions of Risk: Experiences in the Philippines 
Panelist (from left to right): Atty. Amparita Sta. Maria of Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), Ms. Ellen Dicta-an Bang-oa of ebtebba Foundation, Roxanne Omega Doron of Bisdak Pride, Inc., Mr. Jaime Antonio Jr., Program Coordinator, Program Coordinator, SDG Localization iWaSH.

#UNWOMEN #LGBT #DRR #ClimateChange #PasigCity #BisdakPride #BisdakPrideInc #PatasAngGugma #GarboLGBT #DYCM #DYCM1152

Link: PH dialogue pushes for gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and management

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Forgotten no more: LGBT-specific disaster response in the aftermath of Haiyan

 Image may contain: 23 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Forgotten no more By Roxanne Omega Doron After the onslaught of any disaster (natural or man-made), various responders are quick to provide sector specific interventions. In Samar, for instance, after supertyphoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) damaged the area, donors started an egg-laying livelihood program for women survivors. In Tacloban, projects were started to help women grow home vegetable gardens so their families would have a source of fresh vegetables. And in almost all areas affected by Yolanda, psychosocial experts started supporting the mental rehabilitation of women and children. But for a while, one glaring absence was notable among the responses – and that is the inclusion of the marginalized LGBT community. This is, for me unfortunate, particularly because it emphasized the double marginalization experienced by the LGBT community after the onslaught of disasters. For example, the risk of sexual violence may increase during social instability. We’ve come across anecdotes of refugee tents used to molest young boys. Sexual and reproductive health needs, which continue and increase during crisis, also remain unanswered. And since personal grooming and hygiene is not a priority of disaster survivors, the livelihood of many LGBT people are affected (e.g. parloristas), which is unfortunate considering that most of these LGBT people are the breadwinners of their families. I believe that a truly inclusive society responds to disaster inclusively. Already, last February 2014, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) funded a pioneering LGBT-specific disaster response in the Visayas – “The Haiyan Aftermath: Listening to and Understanding the Unheard LGBT Voices in Haiyan (Yolanda) Affected Communities in the Visayas.” This was historic because it was the first of its kind in the Philippines. But more importantly, it significantly contributed to understanding the unheard voices of LGBT communities affected by Yolanda and contributed to the realization of gender identity and expression specific interventions tailored within the context of disaster risk reduction and management. With 120 participants from various regions in the Visayas (90% of them gay or trans, the rest are lesbians), the effort generated three great effects: 1) LGBT-specific views on the impact of typhoon Haiyan; 2) positioning of the LGBT communities and leaders in the Visayas on climate change adaption (CCA) and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM); and 3) creation of local LGBT advocates. UUSC eventually funded “Build Resilient LGBT Communities: Organizing, Strengthening and Networking” in three regions in the Visayas, with the intention of bringing together more than 100 members of the LGBT community in the Yolanda-affected areas to enhance their understanding on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression; human rights; and the importance of organizing, networking and advocacy. Building resilience, in this case, means providing opportunity for various LGBT organizations helm locally-led activities that will not only enhance their organizational capacity and human rights advocacy and commitment, but also help them become sustainable. Already, at least three livelihood development plans are being initiated by LGBT groups; even as the LGBT communities in the Visayas also organized themselves into one network (aptly called “Hugyaw Ka!”, an expression common to LGBT communities in the Visayas, which loosely means “Rejoice! Wonderful! Excellent!”). All efforts to help disaster-affected communities should be recognized. But these efforts also need to be made more inclusive to ensure that everyone affected – LGBT people included – are served. Because in the case of the LGBT community, we can help ourselves if we are, to start, given the tools to do so, including in increasing understanding of commitment and solidary on LGBT issues, documenting of our experiences as affected by the likes of supertyphoon Yolanda, and establishing of LGBT groups and networks. We ought not to be forgotten anymore.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Movie Review: In Defense of John Q

"John Q" is the kind of movie Mad magazine prays for. It is so earnest, so overwrought and so wildly implausible that it begs to be parodied. I agree with its message-- that the richest nation in history should be able to afford national health insurance--but the message is pounded in with such fevered melodrama, it's as slanted and manipulative as your average political commercial.

Watch the trailer:  John Q (2002) Official Trailer - Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall Movie HD

To defend a person is to understand the context of his/her actions and piece together all facts and socio-historical background. And I am here to defend John Q's actions as something morally acceptable.

We may or may not agree with his perspectives but no one can question his desire to save his son from danger. All equally loving and compassionate fathers will do everything to protect his son from danger, much more an impending death. Doing so, he offered a radical opportunity for us to rethink the context of our own morals, ethics and judgement.

However, he has been punished because societal standards on protecting the civil rights of other people should likewise be protected and uphold, but one should remember that the law is always legal but not all the time just. It is also worth noting the extent of people's participation in the process of crafting such laws.

Hence, it is necessary to seek truth from facts that surrounds the underlying factors that commands his thinking during those "unfortunate" circumstances that allowed him to take an option few of us will never think of doing, at least for the time being.

First, I want to defend him because his actions were driven by social constructs. When I say social constructs, it simply means that John Q is just a miniscule of the whole. An individual is part of a family. A family is the basic unit of society. And that society commands, in fact, even owned the families in a given society. Hence, all of us are part of the whole, and is shaped by society itself that imposes its own morals and standards to all of us. 

Second, the health insurance as a matter of social service is equally discriminating and violent. It discriminated John Q and his family. Health maintenance organization (HMOs) proved once more, at least in John Q's case, that it cannot provide a service it promised to its clients when they needed it the most.

As a matter of social service and as serious and urgent like health emergencies, HMOs should be flexible to its paying clients. It should be so since tears and blood of working people is the reason why it exists in the first place. And if they can't flex policies in times of emergencies, then they should fold.

Third, market driven hospital has no place during emergencies and urgent medical situations. They are in cahoots with HMOs and some policy makers to be exclusive to patients that can pay rather than inclusive to anyone regardless of socio-economic status in life as shown in John Q's case.

This is the saddest part of the story. Where institutions that served the interests of the few rather than the interests of the many. Health is an essential component for any country to survive. If people are not healthy, the society is sick. And if the society is sick, wealth creation will be at a disadvantaged position and all are affected both in the short-run and in the long-run.

Finally, John Q's family, friends, and other support groups showed that regardless of his actions, they look at it from a perspective of a fellow human being driven by society to commit a crime he doesn't want in the first place. After maximizing all options and failed. He chose the most damning and dangerous option in life, to force other people to help him and in the process of doing so, he has given us the opportunity to rethink our own options in life one's desperation will knock our door rather than despair in total darkness doing nothing.

I am here to defend John Q, and I will never regret doing it. History will absolve him. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Weekly Homework (Economics, First Semester 2016 - 2017)

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) No deadline extension.

Write your,

Name and Course/Year:
Weekly Homework Number: 
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 Tuesday. No deadline extension.


Week 1, June 20 - 24: homework #1

Week 9, August 15 - 19: homework #09

Week 10, August 22 - 26: homework #10

Week 11, August 29 - September 2: homework #11

2. For your online exercises (Aplia):  No deadline extension.
Principles of Economics by Arnold Set (textbook+APLIA code)  
                 888.00 regular price less 10% discount upon showing School ID
Principles of Economics by Arnold APLIA code only        
                 670.00 net of discount

Begin: 06.20.16      End: 10.28.16
Grace Period: Ends at the end of the day on 07.10.16
Textbook: Economics by Arnold
Student Registration URL:

Course Key: 78UT-7VR5-28VY

3. Grading System: 

40% - Long  (Major) Examinations
25% - Aplia (Online Exercises)
25% - Terminal Report/s
10% - Class Participation (Homework and seatwork)
100% - Total

4. Terminal Report: 
DEADLINE September 3, 2016 (No Terminal Report, No Final Exam) 

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


Part I.Interview five (5) vendors selling typical products outside our university. Formulate 10 questions that relates to supply and production and costs

Part II.Interview three (3) consumers each from the five (5) vendors you interviewed. Formulate 10 questions that relates to demand, maximizing utility and consumer behavior.

Part III.Provide an economic naturalist essay, at least 500 words. Check guidelines below:

An important part of your experience in this course will be two short writing assignments designed to foster your skills as an economic naturalist. In each of these papers, your assignment is to use a principle, or principles, a concept, or concepts, discussed in the course to explain some pattern of events or behavior that you personally have observed around you. Some examples are discussed below and some others might be discussed in class.

Your space limit is 500 words. Many excellent papers are significantly shorter. Please do not lard your essay with complex terminology. Imagine yourself talking to a relative who has never had a course in economics. The best papers are ones that would be clearly intelligible to such a person, and typically these papers do not use any algebra or graphs.

This assignment is not a PhD dissertation. You are not expected to do voluminous research in support of your argument, although a relevant fact or two might help convince yourself and others that you are on the right track. It makes no difference whether your topic is “important,” but try, as best you can, to choose something interesting. A really successful paper is one that begins with a really interesting question (one that makes the listener instantly curious to learn the answer) and then uses an economic principle or principles to construct a plausible answer. You’ll know you have a good paper if the first thing your roommate wants to do upon reading it is to tell friends about it.

*Based on the book by Robert H. Frank and lifted from the Journal of Economic Education


Part I.
Look for five (5) articles about the current state of Philippine agricultural sector or anything related to Philippine agriculture (use APA Citation Guide) and answer in 500 words:

"The State of Philippine Agriculture"

Part II. Visit at least two (2) public market and identify the location ( one in Cebu City and one in Cebu province ), estimated size of the market, 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 1 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?

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?

Write a narrative report of your trip.

5. CHECK, LIKE and FOLLOW Facebook Fan Page: Tikaw Tikaw sa Kagabhiun 
I will post some power point presentations for your additional notes.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Introducing Cebu City’s first LGBT radio program, Patas ang Gugma

"Patas ang Gugma" (Love is equal)

“The stereotype re LGBT people in the media is that we’re only good in the entertainment beat. We provide an alternative to that; we try to focus on our advocacy because we want the program to be a mouthpiece of our LGBT advocacy,” Doron ended.

Introducing Cebu City’s first LGBT radio program, Patas ang Gugma

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...