On June 16, 2022, The British Embassy in Manila and the British Council in the Philippines with assistance from the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) celebrated The Pride Month via the event, “The road to Pride continues.”
The gathering included filmmakers, artists, and LGBTQ+ activists and sympathizers. A panel discussion followed the screenings of the short films “Isaac and the Ram” (2019, directed by Jason Bradbury of the UK) and “Alingasngas ng mga Kuliglig” (The Gossips of Cicadidae, 2021, directed by Vahn Pascual of the Philippines).
The British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils spoke about the importance of celebrating PRIDE: ‘It is important to remember and honour all the people who have lost jobs, loved ones, families, livelihoods – to fight for LGBTQ rights and equality and to get us where we are today. It is important to continue to live our values and show up at these events, and to always push forward to ensure every member of the LGBTQ community feels safe, supported, and empowered’.
Two films were shown at the event. In Bradbury’s movie. Isaac, is a homeless gay boy who was saved from a male predator by a bouncer named Hank.
Pascual’s silent film features the love story of a tikbalang (elemental beast) and the son of an albularyo (healer). “I just wanted to say that love is equal. I want my viewers to know who the real monsters are. Are these the people who are just showing their real feelings or those against it? As a filmmaker, you have the power to change people’s minds That’s why we are here – to send our personal sentiments through the arts,“ Pascual added.
Sharing Thoughts on the event, ‘The road to Pride continues’
The ability of film to communicate various stories and affect people’s hearts and minds was the main topic of the panel discussion. The panelists discussed their own experiences, the differences between the two movies, and what they had done to advance LGBTQ+ rights in the Philippines and worldwide.
Liza Dio, the chair of the FDCP, described how the organization has given young people a voice and supported a more extensive conversation on inclusion and equality. Pascual is a young FDCP film ambassador, she said.
Ryan Silverio, the executive director of the ASEAN SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression) Caucus, discussed how his organization supports the region’s LGBTQ+ communities. “Hopefully, we will be able to share good practices with the government to protect the rights of
“PRIDE should not just be every June. It is every day that we should both celebrate and push boundaries, come together in a space that is safe and inclusive, and remember that love is love, and that we are all different in so many ways, not just sexual orientation and gender identity – and we all belong,’ Ambassador Beaufils said.
This Saturday’s Pride march in Quezon City will include participation from the British Embassy and the British Council. Every June, Pride Month is observed to honor the successes of LGBTQ+ people all over the world as well as the fight for equal justice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.