Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Metro Manila Pride

One of the most exciting parts of my trip to the Philippines was attending the Metro Manila Pride, even though the weather didn't cooperate.
I'm going to break this up into two posts. This post is photos from my camera, and the next post will be photos others took. Excuse the blurriness of my photos; I am having trouble getting used to editing photos with a new program and on a retina monitor.

The Philippines is an interesting place to attend Pride. In a 2013 study, 73 percent of Filipinos agreed with the statement that “homosexuality should be accepted by society." Yet, gay marriage is still not legal in the Philippines, and in a 2018 study, 61% of Filipinos said they were against same-sex civil unions. One of the Filipino agents described the culture as gay is only okay in the abstract (that people are only okay if it isn't their son, sister, friend, etc.). This all left me unsure of what to expect from Metro Manila Pride.

We arrived at the venue rather early as our company was in the parade and we had a section in the bleachers assigned to us. At that time, the line to get into the Marikina City Sports Center ended not far from where the line started (wrapping completely around the arena). A record-breaking 77,000 people attended this year's event. That is over three times the previous record (25,000 last year). Unfortunately, they were not prepared for that many people attending.

An hour and a half after the parade was scheduled to start, we had not moved from our position in the parade line-up, so, our company decided to leave the event two hours early (without marching). We found out later that they ended up having to stop the march for security concerns (I'm not sure if that was before or after we left). Additionally, the venue reached capacity around 4:00 PM, so thousands of people waiting outside could not get in.

I inadvertently matched the buses taking us to Pride.

Rainbow grilled cheese

Parade line-up

The non-stop heavy rain and hoards of people made things quite muddy.

I am stealing my own caption from Instagram for this next photo: Three hours after we decided to leave the parade, we realized that we were still *directly* outside the venue. The traffic was that ridiculous, that our bus had just been driving around outside the venue.

One of the agents opened his backpack where he had 3-4 bottles of water, a half-eaten chicken dinner from breakfast, and some other snacks that the venue somehow didn't see during their bag checks 🤣. He passed his food around the bus. Someone else had an individual bag of corn chips left from the ride there that he shared with the bus.

I felt like it was all the perfect illustration of Filipino culture (or at least, how I've interpreted it). No matter how frustrating the circumstances, they find a way to be positive and have fun. They always look out for others. And even when someone doesn't have much, they will happily share with others.

Lastly, two videos from Pride.

You can view all my “Philippines Trip 2019” posts by clicking here.

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