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Queer Manila attempts to create a visual discussion around gender and sexuality within local contexts and internationalised LGBT discourse. It explores the understandings, misunderstandings, conflicts, humours, loves, eroticisms, deviances, spectacles, and dilemmas within Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender identities.

Identity and gender have always been in processes of flux, subjected to numerous influences and social behaviours that change over time, creating different sites for cultures, politics, psychologies, spiritualities and biologies to define who we are. The show, therefore, is about activating and including multiple audiences in a visual conversation about how we look, exchange ideas and comment on gender and sexuality within LGBT communities. It is about processes of othering and reclaiming, through contemporary art’s ability to share, question, and develop these identities. As such, artists have been invited to contribute personal stories, as well as comment on the notion of body politics, activism and culture across generations through various media.

To compliment the exhibition and diversify this conversation, a programme of performances, films, talks and events has been organised that will take place in the gallery over the duration of the exhibition. For a summary of this program, see the schedule below:

25 August, 2-9PM
Performances by Maya Munoz in collaboration with Julie Tolentino, Jef Carnay, Martin Lorenzo de Mesa and Roselle Pineda, with a poetry reading by Danton Remoto, Chairman Emeritus of Ang Ladlad

FILM PROGRAMME (Upstairs Gallery)
Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (2005)
Directed by Aureus Solito and written by Michiko Yamamoto. Produced by UFO Pictures.
September 9 and 16, 1PM

Zombadings (2011)
Directed by Jade Castro, also co-written with Raymond Lee, Michiko Yamamoto.
September 9 and 16, 3PM

Book signing by J. Neil C. Garcia (Editor) of “Aura”: The Gay Theme in Philippine Fiction in English
A collection of gay-themed short stories and novel excerpts from Philippine fictionists in English. Featuring the works of Jose Garcia Villa, Bienvenido N. Santos, NVM Gonzalez, Nick Joaquin, and Edith L. Tiempo etc.
September 1, 5PM

Talk by Enzo Camacho + Amy Lien
Sharing their processes as creative partners and performers
September 8, 12NN

Hubad: Mga Kwento ng Kalayaan
Guerilla theater event by LeAP! (Lesbian Activists Philippines)
September 15

Venue is Whitespace in Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati: MAP HERE

Gusto mo bang makatulong? As long as you have the heart, come join us. Love Yourself is expanding in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Tara, join! Trainings start in September.

The Love Yourself (TLY) group is a community-based organization that propagates ideas, attitudes, and practices that encourage loving oneself as a way of life, now specifically as a way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among the MSM community (men who have sex with men), the youth, and other key, most at-risk populations in the Philippines.

“Facilitator” is our general term for people who volunteer with us as peer counselor or peer educator.  We believe that the best behavior influencers are our own peers, and that is why we are growing our network of volunteers who are willing to be just that.

Here at Love Yourself, we greatly value volunteer work.  While given for free, volunteer work need not be shoddy, “puwede na,” and half-hearted. In fact, Love Yourself facilitators are known to be energetic, warm, and very competent! All facilitators of Love Yourself are given continual training, coaching, and mentoring so they can in turn provide professional, topnotch service to the community.

Our group’s success during its first year of operation has created great trust, cooperation, and strategic partnerships with other HIV prevention groups.  Thus, Love Yourself is now preparing to go on a national scale.  Starting September 2012, we will be expanding our reach and focus to 5 metropolitan cities in the country – Manila, Makati, Quezon City, Cebu, and Davao. Hence the call for facilitators.

For those who are interested to join, following are the required qualifications:

  1. Sincere, courageous heart to actively help in HIV education and prevention;
  2. Gay, bisexual, or self-identifies as part of the MSM community;
  3. Well-educated professional who is able (or willing to learn) to lead others in learning sessions and other similar activities.

You do not need to be an experienced facilitator, educator, or counselor — we will train you for the job. Facilitator candidates who have their own source of income are preferred, given that the work we do as Love Yourself Facilitators doesn’t provide any financial remuneration. There is no minimum number of hours to render, but do expect to volunteer about 8 hours of your time, once or twice a month, particularly during weekends.

To express your intent to join the Love Yourself Facilitator Network, fill out the application form at


Have you been thinking of getting tested for HIV? Think no more and just do it! Come to the Love Yourself Hub and take advantage of our free (yes, no charge!) testing for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B. This is exclusively for men who like men. The testing is discreet, quick, and most of all, FREE!

The Love Yourself Hub is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 9 AM to 6 PM. Please come before 3 PM so you can still get your results on the same day. Warm and friendly people will assist you — so no need to be worried or scared. Tara na!

For inquiries, you may call The Love Yourself Hub at the following numbers: 353-8922 (landline) / +63 917 8351038 (Mobile). Location is at 1850 Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila. It is near the back of Philippine Women’s University (PWU), and a stone’s throw away from Jefz Cafe and Solanie Hotel. Map to the hub is here:

If you need personal assistance (someone to talk to) you may register here and a trained HIV counselor will contact you:

‘Yung feeling na nagpapahanap sa iyo ng date yung mismong crush mo…

Naramdaman mo na ba ‘to?

When having sex with your boyfriend, do you still use condoms? Of course you want to make him feel that you love him and that he’s the only one for you, hindi ba it’s unnecessary na ang mag-condom? What do you think?

For the rest of the stash, proceed to Miong’s.

It was June of 2011, a friend invited me to a birthday dinner somewhere in Greenhills, in a nice Thai restaurant owned and operated by a gay couple named James and James. There I met several interesting people, mostly gay men, mostly members of the alta gays, as in alta sociedad (spoken with the obligatory lisp). But in the middle of all the chi-chi stuff going on, I noticed a very different species floating around, beckling beki of bekilandia proportions. His name, I would later find out, was Vinn Pagtakhan.

More than a birthday dinner, it was actually some sort of a meeting to discuss a new, emerging group that wanted to organize a community of volunteers to arrest the silent yet mind-blowing growth of HIV prevalence among young, gay and bisexual men in the country. I was there because I was personally very concerned. Earlier that month I had my very first HIV test, and while the result was negative (surprisingly!) I regardlessly broke down in front of my nurse-counselor. Why? Earlier that year, I’ve had 4 friends mysteriously and suddenly dying one after the other, dropping like flies. One day they were partying with me, the next I was in black attending their funeral. By the end of 2011, I had a total of 8 friends who died in much the same mysterious way. The whole thing was gradually but surely shaking me to the core.

Continue Reading >>

Here’s an article by Justin Huang, who in his blog describes himself this way: “I am 25, Asian, male, gay, overly cocky, popular, insecure, shy, gassy, loudmouthed, promiscuous, guilt-ridden, nonjudgmental, hardworking, goofy, dead serious… I’m a film editor and a personal fitness trainer in Los Angeles, both of which mean I sit in coffeeshops and gyms a lot trying to look cute.

* * *

“You’re ugly.”

Those words have been said directly to me many times in my life.

I won’t specify the times I’ve heard others use it, but I hear it on a common basis, especially in the gay community. I used to run with a couple of WeHo boys who regularly tossed it out like daggers to describe complete strangers. When I called them out, when I said that it was unnecessary, that it didn’t make us any prettier, they’d scoff at me. “You were thinking it, too,” they’d always say.

That doesn’t even begin to describe what goes on in my head when I hear that word.

And when I came out, there was no parade celebrating my diverseness. Instead, I entered a subculture that strove even harder to fit in. When a group of individuals grows up with a perpetual reinforcement that we are subhuman, that our emotions are inferior, that our love is dirty, how can you blame us for this? The Adonis factor is not narcissism. It’s self-defense.

I worked so hard to hear that I was attractive. I had something to prove, that I was no longer that sad, effeminate boy doggy-paddling at the shallow end of the pool. So I hit the gym and sculpted my body from obesity to lean muscle. So I built a persona of hypersexual confidence and took an obscene pleasure in breaking hearts. So I went through long periods of promiscuity and drug use when I used my sexuality as validation: “If you fuck me, I exist.”

And I was miserable.

(Read the full article here.)

Thanks to the boys of Bay Leaf Spa for providing a titillating and super-daring sensual massage demo at the Love Yourself Hub last Sunday! Everyone was dumbfounded with the demo!

The 3 cutest guys in the pic above are Joko, Louie, and Ivan. Hihihi.

For inquiries about Bay Leaf Spa’s services (including their famous “Signature Massage” or “Sigma”) please call (02) 624-9716, 0917-844-0488. For home/hotel service, call 0915-420-8752.