Feb 17, 2015

About the Bench Brouhaha

I'm happy to see the billboards on EDSA. I love the "Love All Kinds of Love" campaign. I'm happy that the people behind the campaign pushed through with it, even under the circumstances.

The fact that a local company as big as Bench has taken steps into promoting the visibility of the LGBT is something to take pride in. Last year they did the B/Proud campaign while Human featured LGBT couples in their billboard ads (although they weren't holding hands or showing any "too gay" affections of love). While it's not as all-encompassing as an LGBT campaign hopes to be (disregarding the poor LGBT of the country in their interview series, etc.) it is a step towards positive LGBT visibility.

Understandably, as a business, they took the opportunity to advertise to a ridiculed minority. They might have taken note of The Untapped Power of the Pink Peso or they were just big dumbasses who wanted to get ahead of the competition by stirring up "controversial" ads to get people's attention.

But that's not exactly a 100% bad thing.

It's shitty how they washed their own hands after the whole shebang, yes. But isn't the uproar in support of the unblemished photo what the LGBT community needs? At least that's what I thought.

If it weren't for the #LoveAllKindsOfLove campaign and the blurred photo they submitted to the ASC and used for their billboards, would we have learned about the #PaintTheirHandsBack people who are ready to support our "kind of" love? Forgive me for seeing a silver lining.

The #PaintTheirHandsBack campaign is, for an LGBT youth who has been scared of coming out due to the bigotry and hate in this world, a sigh of relief. The campaign is a truly touching, heartwarming act. It basically said: "We are the Filipino people (artists, non-artists, straight allies, LGBT members, media people, etc.) who will help fight for your right to show your love. No matter how scared you are, know that there are people like us who will be willing to 'paint your hands back' whenever someone tries to deface and devalue your love."

For a country that has been dubbed "gay-friendly," for a country that has been at most mediocre in its efforts to promote equality and protection for its LGBT people, it's sad to think that we still cannot erase the kind of hate that is embedded in the "Filipino traditional values."

It's sad that businesses and companies are still afraid of blatantly showing support for the LGBT community. (Trust me, I've heard a lot of "We'd love to help but it's in our company policy not to get into advocacy campaigns that may put us in a bad light when it comes to our traditional Catholic audience" responses when doing last year's #ComeOutForLove campaign.) It's disappointing that most big businesses can easily shove the LGBT community down the list of advocacy priorities because "hello, there's world peace, hunger, education, climate change and other advocacies that need our support." It's disappointing that we're put at the back burner and only when it feels convenient for them do they say "okay just for one campaign lang and here are the restrictions" for an LGBT advocacy related project. Again, we're not asking you to disregard other advocacies and focus on us. We're not even comparing our fights. We just want to be treated equally - as people who deserve the same rights as every other heterosexual human being, and that includes going all out when you say you're 'championing a cause you believe in'. 

What Bench did is not 100% bad. What they didn't do is what is. It's shitty how they (supposedly) masterminded the whole thing but (yes, there's a but) I wouldn't dismiss them easily. There are so many layers that an advocacy campaign goes through and while we deserve better, smarter advertising, we also have to take into consideration the society we live in. If a Pro-LGBT billboard is out there, right smack in the middle of the busiest avenue in the country, chances are, hateful bigots can see them, closeted LGBT youth can see them, parents, relatives of LGBT people can see them and they are all given a peek at how the LGBT love is not at all different from heterosexual love. 

So fuck you for not standing up for us, Bench. But thanks for putting us out there, too.

PS. While the Ad Standards Council says that they did not request for Bench to "blur" the images, I ask: Would you have accepted it otherwise?

Aug 21, 2014

On flying

My birthday is coming up next month (in 39 days) and I have this itch to just pack up and go out of the country for just a day. Literally. I'd leave on the 29th and be back for a quick birthday dinner on the 30th. Simple, right?

I have a lot of places on my list but I have a feeling I could do Singapore or Tokyo by myself. I would love to visit all the bookstores and art shops there and just basically walk everywhere. I need to check though if I can be able to pick something up other than photographs from each place because hello sad empty crying wallet but I guess postcards will be enough to keep me sane/sated.

While there's certainly too many things to do for the day (get done with this interview, finish the textbook, create a social media calendar for the pride march, meet and plan the next issue of FEIST, schedule tweets for the weekend for work, smoke, drink with friends later, oh and I forgot EAT omg I keep forgetting I have to feed myself), I can't stop myself from daydreaming about a solo getaway.

I wonder what I'll be writing about by then. 

Aug 17, 2014

Dear you

This is the day I will forget about you.

I defended your fucking ass for 16 years. When you told me you wanted to tear the family apart, i supported you. I was 10 years old then.

You were the first one who had an affair and kept at it. I never told anyone all the things you told me. I never spilled the beans no matter how many text messages, photos, and letters I've read and seen.

I constantly took your side in every argument. I no-questions-asked put you on a friggin fucking pedestal.

Not anymore.

After all this time, you still don't believe in me. After all this time, you still don't believe in what I tell you I can do.

I have been proving people wrong for the longest time. And if you still don't believe I can best life without that fucking piece of paper, then go ahead.

I don't need people in my life pulling me down. Mediocrity is a word I never want associated with me. And you're exactly that.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't have a father anymore.

Aug 5, 2014

New Layout

After 10 years, I finally breathe a new look to this blog. Let's see if we can sprinkle some words in too, eh?

Jul 17, 2014

Dear you

The poet in me wants to kiss you with deadly bittersweet syrupy words of

who am I kidding, there's no poet in here, I'm drained of the metaphors for how I truly feel.