Pride month

2024 Quezon City Pride festival cut short due to heavy rain

Russell Ku

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2024 Quezon City Pride festival cut short due to heavy rain

MARCH FOR EQUALITY. LGBTQ+ advocates and their allies march along Elliptical Road in Quezon City for the 'Love Laban 2 Everyone' Pride march and parade on June 22, 2024.

Russell Ku/Rappler

Before the cancellation, the festival saw at least 70,000 people wearing Pride colors and carrying placards as they marched along the streets of Quezon City

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government and organizers Pride PH had to cut short the “Love Laban 2 Everyone” Pride Night concert on Saturday, June 22, due to heavy rain, the Quezon City Police Department told Rappler.

Before the cancellation, the event hosts announced at around 6:30 pm they were pausing the event for the safety of the performers, organizers, and audience.

Because the event was cut short, headliners BINI, Vice Ganda, and Gloc-9 weren’t able to perform on stage for the thousands who trooped to Quezon City to celebrate Pride.

Pride Night was the culminating activity of the festival that saw at least 70,000 people wearing Pride colors and carrying placards as they walked along the streets of Quezon City, where the Philippines’ and Asia’s first Pride march was held 30 years ago.

The march started past 2 pm. Although the Elliptical Road, which circumscribes the Quezon Memorial Circle, was crowded with marchers, LGBTQ+ advocates and their allies were in high spirits, with some playing musical instruments and others shouting their most creative Pride chants.

Some of the people’s placards read “No Room for Discrimination,” while others brought the issue of the human rights situation in Gaza to this year’s march. A colorful float parade also graced the streets of Quezon City.

As organizers expected a huge turnout for this year’s Pride festival, two separate marches were held in Quezon City that converged at Elliptical Road.

The “Love” march, comprising Quezon City government officials, workplace diversity and business representatives, and other attendees from outside the Quezon Memorial Circle, originated from Tomas Morato Street.

The “Laban (Fight)” march, meanwhile, originated from Kalayaan Avenue and Matalino Street and comprised representatives from human rights organizations, students, and elderly people, among others.

Despite the two simultaneous marches, Quezon City traffic officers were able to control the flow of traffic between the Quezon Memorial Circle and Quezon City Hall by letting people cross along Elliptical Road during certain points of the march. 

Other Pride marches were also held simultaneously in different parts of the country, such as Baguio City, Iloilo, Magsaysay (Misamis Oriental), Catarman, and Iligan City.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Quezon City also held its first “Graduation Rights” event for students living or studying in the city who were unable to participate in their graduation ceremonies presenting their preferred gender expression. According to the city’s gender and development office, a total of 394 high school and college students marched during the event.

2024 Quezon City Pride festival cut short due to heavy rain
Renewed push for SOGIE equality bill

During the event – only one of at least a dozen Pride marches held in different areas in the country on Saturday – Filipinos from the LGBTQ+ community and their allies made a renewed push for the Philippines to pass the SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender, identity, and expression) equality bill into law.

“It [is] a protest for us to show…the government what we need in this generation,” Ezekiel, a marcher from Bataan, told Rappler.

Ezekiel added that what has happened within the LGBTQ+ community in the past few years should be an “eye-opener” for the government to finally act on policies to protect queer people.

Senator Risa Hontiveros and Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman took the stage to share their resolve to finally get the SOGIE bill passed into law.

Hontiveros said she was working with Senate leaders to bring the measure back to plenary discussions after it was reverted to the Senate committee on rules by former majority leader Joel Villanueva in February 2023.

Kikilos tayo, walang tigil hanggang maipasa ito bilang batas (We will act and not stop until this is passed into law),” she said.

Roman, meanwhile, questioned why religion was still being used to justify the prevention of LGBTQ+ people from getting basic rights. She also reiterated that the SOGIE bill was not meant to provide “special rights” to queer Filipinos.

Ang hinihingi lang natin: ang karapatang magtrabaho, mag-aral, tumanggap ng serbisyo sa pamahalaan…nang walang diskriminasyon na nakabase sa ating kasarian,” said Roman, the first transgender woman to be elected to the Philippine Congress.

(What we are asking for: the right to work, study, and access government services…without discrimination based on our gender.)

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte had said in a press conference on Tuesday, June 18, that this year’s march is their city’s “contribution” in urging Philippine lawmakers to pass the measure, which has been languishing in Congress for over two decades. Pride PH, with around 200 organizations, earlier signed an open letter urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to certify the SOGIE equality bill as urgent. – Rappler.com

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Russell Ku

Russell Ku is a digital communications specialist at Rappler who believes in the power of stories to build an empathic society.