Taipei Gay Pride 2018

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Taipei was that I and my friends got to attend the biggest gay pride parade and party in Asia! Me, MJ, JB and Willie were among the 130,000 people who attended the event.

The energy and vibe that night was truly brighter than my future! Hahaha!  The ability to connect with gays from all around the world was truly an international experience.  And since we are foreigners in Taipei, we somewhat let loose for there weren’t any conservative watchful eye to answer to (like if we were back home in Manila).  We knew no one in the event yet everyone was joyful and very welcoming.      

Though we arrived a little late, we still got so awe-struck by the people!  There were Drag Queens and Kings, there were Queer Super Heroes, there were Cosplayers, there were Happy Smiling Angels, student protest groups and tons of fit non-heterosexual abdominal muscles flashing! 

I never hesitated asking interesting people to take their photos with MJ and Willie and no one refused!  We were like being a part of the big LGBTQ+ family fighting for the same cause.

When we joined part of the pack who started to head home to their respective vibrantly amazing lives, I took the chance of buying a bracelet as a souvenir.  This trinket signify that I took part on being one with the happy rainbows that day.  

Ang saya saya!

Advertisements

Uber Is A Verb But Now It’s Gone

I am 1 of the 640,000,000 inhabitants of Southeast Asia.  And I am 1 of those who was just gone upset now that Uber is no longer operational in this part of the world.  I am an Uber user since the time Uber started in the Philippines.  It is my chosen ride-hailing firm as compared to Grab, a Singaporean-based and a more giant in my region.

Uber was my preferred ride every time I would travel back to Manila.  It has prevented me from dealing with the swindler cum taxi drivers infesting the Manila airports.  And though it’s no longer operational here in the Philippines, I intend to keep the Uber app in the phone.  

i’ve been notified! grrr!

 

I am an Uber user because I find it more efficient, a lot cheaper and the drivers seem more polite.  I’m an Uber user that I even got to use Uber as a verb in my daily conversations with people.  My admiration to Uber got more intense when I travelled solo in Istanbul.  It was the ride I took when I need to spend the night in a hotel near the Istanbul airport. And when Nengkoy, my sister and I was in Bangkok, Uber was our preferred mode of transportation.

But the use of Uber would soon be so foreign to me both as an app and as a verb.  Using an Uber now would only signify that I am out of my country for some travel, rest and recreation! Here’s one cute Uber Philippines commercial though…

Thanks for the short yet precious time Uber.  Hoping to use you soon!

Josme! Pano Na???

Call Me By Your Name: A Beautiful Poetic Narrative

I guess I’m a bit hard to please when it comes to reading and finishing a book.  After reading some of the most beautiful, exhilarating and awe-inspiring books in the past, there has been three (3) books that I started reading but – due to boredom – eventually dropped and chose not to finish it.  Thus, a book will therefore be very good if I would be able to digest and finish it up to its last word.

superb!

I was actually a little afraid that I would not be able to finish a book anymore, but Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman erased that!  It was the book that stirred my hard-to-please taste.  Call Me By Your Name is not just a stirring and fascinating story, it is actually a beautiful poetic narrative about a person’s coming-of-age reflections, desires and contemplations.

I actually envy the writer Andre Aciman for he got the talent, gift and faculty in crafting delightful words and weaving beautiful thoughts together.  Aciman was so impressive, he was able to bring readers into the major character’s heart.  That is why the joy and sadness of Elio (the major character) are the reader’s joy and sadness.  Elio’s passion and pain were the reader’s passion and pain.  And I was so into it, Elio’s heartbroken was my heartbroken!  And when I finished and read the last word of this superb novel, I noticed myself grasping for some air.

I refuse to give any spoiler!  All I can say is that the book was so good, I didn’t want to finish! Now, Call Me By Your Name sits among the top ten books that I have successfully finished.

Nakakabuntong hininga!

Fun Queer Kids & the Leader of Chechen Republic

The Pride Month is over yet rainbow flags will never be folded and kept inside treasure trunks of the LGBT community.  The waving of these colorful flags will continue to signify the unremitting fight for rights and equality.

This is of course except for the Chechen Republic which is the worst place to live for the members of the LGBT community.  In that part of the globe, rainbow flags are kept in the innermost trunks and queer thoughts will forever be suppressed in the deepest annals of their soul.

mr. razman kadyrov

Last weekend, I happen to bumped into an old YouTube video.  After watching this fun and funny video, I wonder what the leader of Chechen Republic would feel after viewing it.  Will he be beaming with smile and even laugh while watching such an innocent and harmless kids who happen to be gay? Or will he get so furious he will order his military troupes to fly nuclear missiles to the Philippines so as to eradicate these naïve and blameless kiddos?  And if these kids were living in Chechnya, would he order that these happy minors be abducted and held captive in a gay concentration camps?

Aside from wondering what the Chechen Republic leader would feel, I am curious how the “free” kids of Chechnya enjoy being kids. Are they as unregimented and as diverse like the kids here in my country?  Are they able to strut spontaneous moves the way kids here strut their stuff?

With all these incomprehensible questions, all I could think of is being glad that these kids are happy living in a free country like the Philippines! These cute kids may not be rich and powerful but they sashay away with happiness…

Ang kwela! San ka pa?!

Pride March in Canada Makes Me Drool

Canadians must be very pleased and delighted with their Prime Minister.  As seen in the news, Justin Trudeau with his family joined (for the 2nd year in a row) the march and walked the streets of Toronto to celebrate Pride Month causing the internet to swoon over such a cool world leader.

cool Canadian PM (photo from the news)

Canada has indeed gone so far ahead as compared to my country in terms of respecting sexual diversity, equal rights and self-affirmation.  It is sad to note that the present President of the Philippines (my president) – dubbed as the Punisher by Times Magazine and known around the globe as an iron-fisted ruler – joining a Pride march and the rainbow procession on the streets of Manila or Marikina seem very unlikely.

Watching the news about Canada makes me drool… Happy Pride!

Happy Pride!

‘Di ko ma-imadyin!

 

A Walk at The Castro

Stupid as it may sound, but my preconceived idea of the gay mecca in America is that the streets are filled with pink elephants, happy unicorns, colorful fairies, gentle dragons and sparkling angels.  All of these were erased when I got to walk the streets of Castro District in San Francisco.

smile….
rainbow land!
rainbow!

The Castro is considered San Francisco’s (if not USA’s) gay-friendly epicenter.  It actually has glitzy bars and restaurants, flamboyant shops and of course a historical theater.  You would know that you have entered this area when lampposts are donned with rainbow flags and zebra lanes are in rainbow colors.

But what I had was a quiet walk in the Castro.  I was nevertheless left to realize that the area is a thriving marketplace for all things gay.  While I grasp on the sidewalk historical plaques/markers representing past LGBT icons, it was not difficult to recognize that the area is catered to people who identify with the LGBT culture. Actually, passing through a coffee shop seated outside were two young men kissing.  And wall murals and posters abound in the area about gay rights and human rights.

at the steve harvey plaza, milk!
love wins…

The streets may have been calm and quiet on the time of my visit, but I can truly feel the lingering colorful gay spirit in the atmosphere and the unabashed zest for life of The Castro.

Lab wins…