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Mikey Quijano
Philippines Metro Manila LGBTQ+ Pride, Inc

So I think I have two magic moments, the first one being the first few sessions we had for our advocacy CAMP at Metro Manila Pride. We were able to sit down with experts in history and talk to them and learn from them about pre-colonial Filipino queer identities; how these were heavily impacted by colonisation, and how all of these, – despite it being hundreds of years ago- still truly impact us as a society and as LGBTQIA+ community right now in the present. So this was such a great opportunity for me to kind of listen to experts and share with us information about history that otherwise, we wouldn鈥檛 have had any access to. In the traditional education curriculum, we don鈥檛 really discuss these things heavily in school so this was such a wonderful and important moment for me as an advocate, as a volunteer for Metro Manila Pride, because it really gave me a lot of historical context.

I think another magic moment for me would be the immersion sessions we had with two communities. Unfortunately, we did it virtually but despite that, it was still such a powerful moment for me as a volunteer. These were virtual sessions with members from the Save San Roque community and GALANG, both organisations that work with the urban poor communities here in the Quezon City area, and GALANG specifically working with lesbian, bi-sexual women and transmen in urban poor areas. So I think this was such a powerful and magical moment for me as a volunteer because it allowed me to listen to people from different communities other than the community that I鈥檓 part of. It gave a lot of perspective in terms of what we can do together, in terms of the different plans that we can create, so that we can have a really bigger, more deeper impact, not just to the LGBTQIA+ community, but to many other marginalised communities in different sectors here in the Philippines. This was such a great opportunity for us to hear about their stories and then share our reflection and our stories as well. So it was a great moment for us to really conversed and create and ideate on where we can take our volunteerism and our plans and projects moving forward. I think these two things were such impactful magical moments for me both on the learning side of history to the practical applications that we need to be doing right now as a human rights organisation. 馃檪

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