Legend has it that at the end of every rainbow sits a leprechaun, hammering on a shoe, who will reveal the whereabouts of a crock of gold. But nobody gets to the end of anything without having a start. This start is what McJarwin Cayacap found in Ilocos Sur when he represented humanists at the first-ever LGBT summit in the region.
On December 3, 2017, at 10 AM, Candon City Government, its LGBT Pride Council and MRRD-NECC LGBT Pilipinas in partnership with the Provincial Pride Council of Ilocos Sur and Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) held the 1st Candon City LGBT Summit at the Center for Culture and the Arts.
The keynote address was delivered by Dindi Tan, Secretary-General of MRRD-NECC LGBT Pilipinas and a humanist, who discussed the salient points and highlights of the ‘Candon City Gender-Fair Ordinance’ signed recently by Mayor Ericson Singson, MD. The said ordinance imposes equal treatment and fair opportunity to LGBTs of the city at all times. Also, it protects the same from crime and violation of any form. It is the first to be enacted in all of Northern Ilocandia to date, pending formulation of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
Following the keynote address was a benchmarking session by Faustino Sabarez III, National Chairman of MRRD-NECC LGBT Pilipinas and Executive Director of the Quezon City LGBT Pride Council, who discussed the developments and successes of the ‘Quezon City Gender-Fair Ordinance’ which was passed in 2014.
Local officials like Kris Alcantara Pasion, Chairperson of the Candon City LGBT Pride Council; Grace Ramos, Chairperson of Gender and Development Technical Working Group; Oscar Materno Balagot, Chairperson of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Gender and Development; and Jaime Singson, Provincial Board Member also graced the summit with their talks at the delight of the participants.
An open forum where actual concerns and cases of the city’s LGBTs were raised and tackled to assure a clear understanding of the coverage and penalties of the ordinance.
Capping off the summit was the LGBT Solidarity Lunch Buffet which was sponsored by HAPI, and enjoyed by the City Council, LGBT Pride Council, barangay leaders, and guests alike.
At 5 PM, Candon City witnessed its first Pride March as LGBTs of all ages paraded the longest rainbow flag the people have seen. The march was also made more colorful by locomotive gowns worn by the contestants of ‘Aribai Ti Barangay’ (translated as “Gay of the Village”), a yearly LGBT pageant showcasing the artistic and intellectual prowess that is natural of Ilocanos. Dindi Tan, on behalf of Representative Geraldine Roman, the first openly transgender woman elected to the Congress of the Philippines, gave an inspirational talk during the jam-packed coronation night at the Civic Center.
On December 4, 2017 at 8 PM, Dindi Tan graced Vigan City’s World AIDS Day celebration as the Guest-of-Honor of ‘Miss World AIDS Day’, an LGBT pageant that crowns the ambassadress of HIV/AIDS awareness in the city. It was also attended by the Candon City and Quezon City LGBT Pride Councils as models of success.
HAPI, through its LGBTQ+ & Straight Alliance arm and strong partnership with MRRD-NECC LGBT Pilipinas, is always proud and happy to participate in any event that promotes respect for LGBT rights and supports regard for their welfare. Where there are LGBTs is where humanism burns with desire for equality and non-discrimination.
HAPI Metro Manila Member
Web Content Editor
National Events Officer-in-Charge
Coordinator for Foundation Beyond Belief
He’s currently in between careers, so he busies himself with anything that works for the good of humanity. Other than being a humanist, he is a realist, an art aficionado, a frugal foodie and a weary wanderer.