HAPI to host international series of talks, art exhibit for Pride Month ‘22 | PRESS RELEASE

Posted by Hapi Editor | Posted on June 2, 2022

Press Release

June 1, 2022

HAPI to host international series of talks, art exhibit for Pride Month ‘22


A number of artists convened at Dakong Balay.

As part of its advocacy, Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) is again taking up the torch to continue championing human rights, particularly that of the LGBTQIA+ community, by holding a series of comprehensive activities celebrating Pride Month this June.

With the theme “overcoming”, which pertains to gaining control over one’s body, freedom, rights, and destiny, HAPI will be hosting an art exhibit and an eight-day series of nationwide talks both featuring an international lineup of artists and speakers, respectively.

Headed by Lead Organizer Roma Jane Hechanova (HAPI-Dumaguete) with Co-Organizer for Art Exhibit Shyndel May Sastrillo (HAPI-Dumaguete), Co-Organizer for Nationwide Series of Talks Junius Dale Capus (HAPI-Bacolod) and the HAPI Pride Team as co-facilitators, the activities aim to beckon members of the society to come together and discuss issues that remain significant to the lives of the queer community and humanity in general.

Art by Portia Nemeño. “Pedicab” is one of the works that will be displayed in the upcoming art exhibit.

The art exhibit to be held at Dakong Balay Art Gallery, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental– which will be launched on June 19, 2022 – features 23 artists from all over the Philippines and one based in the US. It will showcase various media from photographs to fabric, digital, oil on canvas, installation art, film, etc. It will run until June 30, 2022; the artworks will also be accompanied by poetry written by Hechanova.

The eight-day series of talks will feature various advocates and experts from all over the Philippines and one from Italy; it will be done via Zoom and is open to all interested participants nationwide and beyond.

HAPI-Bacolod Deputy Head Rayd Espeja will talk about “Curating Prism: Leveling our understanding of SOGIE and human rights” on June 20 (Monday); this will be followed by human rights activist Atty. Luke Espiritu’s discussion on “Debunking SOGIE Myths: Time to know you’re part of the spectrum and covered by the SOGIE Bill” on June 21 (Tuesday).

Gender Justice Advocate Rev. Kakay Pamaran will focus on “Unearthing (His)tory to (Her)story: the evolution of queer history in the Philippines” on June 22 (Wednesday); this will be followed by Negrosanon Youth Leaders Institute Member Jomar Borromeo’s talk titled “Let’s talk about sex, baby!: Sex Education and Awareness” on June 23 (Thursday).

Human rights lawyer and HAPI member Atty. Jesus Falcis will be shedding light on the feasibility of legislating same-sex marriage in the Philippines and the limitations of the Family Code pertaining to marriage and divorce; this will be done on June 24 (Friday).

Members of the Unitarian Universalist LGBTIQA Fellowship will be facilitating a round-table discussion on why religion is not in the way of being queer on June 25 (Friday); this will be moderated by Paula Maria Gregg, with Lui Sayre, May Gimang, Coriander Gunn, Rev. Leslie Minasalvas, and Bernadette Jumuad as speakers.

Young Humanists International European Regional Coordinator Andrea Ruggeri from Italy will talk about the struggles of men in modern society and why feminism is also FOR men on June 26 (Sunday).
To conclude the eight-day series of talks, Queer Safe Spaces Founder Roanne Carreon will explore the topic of “Inclusive Future: How to achieve a more equal society for all people through feminist movements” on June 27 (Monday).

The sea cannot contain the weight of gems I wear, concealing
most of my flesh and unscalable pain. I cannot walk on land – so I ride
– Poem by Roma Jane Hechanova accompanying “Pedicab”

HAPI aims that through these major events, the struggle for equality and equity that will grant people – regardless of sex and gender – the same respect, privileges, and rights would reach more audiences and garner more allies until the cause effectively succeeds.

HAPI is partnering with local and national organizations like Unitarian Universalist (UU) LGBTIQA Fellowship, Queer Safe Spaces (also a nonprofit organization committed to educating, empowering, and supporting the Filipino queer people and to advocating  gender equality), MUGNA Gallery (an art gallery in Valencia, Negros Oriental which will open this June 4), Bahaghari-Dumaguete, Kabataan Para sa Karapatan (KPK), and Sangguniang Kabataan: Pederasyon ng Dumaguete.

It is also supported by OceanClick, Art Moves PH, Dumaguete Art Scene, Shelter PH, Coffee Collective, The DIM Company, and D Salag Collective.

The DIM Company will be performing an improv dance during the opening, while D Salag Collective, a theater company, will be showcasing their talents on the culmination day.

Other chapters of HAPI will be conducting their own localized activities for Pride; in Dumaguete, HAPI’s partner-organizers Bahaghari-Dumaguete and KPK will be facilitating a community kitchen on June 4, 11, 18, and 25 at Brgy. Tinago with the help of local purok leaders.

Another highlight of the series of activities is the two-day Pride Walk. The first part to be held on June 18, dubbed the Negros Oriental Pride Walk, is a province-wide, inclusive rural, and multicultural gathering open to all members and allies of the LGBT community.

The second part on June 19 will be for Dumaguete locals but it is still welcome to any who would want to participate. Both Pride Walks will commence at 4 PM from Pantawan 2 near Negros Press Club. COVID health regulations and protocols will be strictly observed all throughout the events.

On June 28, UU LGBTQIA Fellowship will be offering the first-ever Holy Union Ceremony for LGBT couples in Dumaguete and sponsoring a three-day honeymoon retreat for the participants; this will be officiated by Rev. Tet Gallardo. LGBTQIA couples may register via http://tiny.cc/PrideUnions2022.

On the same day, a live talk show called OceanClick TV will be live streaming its Pride Month Special via OceanClick Careers’ Facebook Page at 10 AM, and via OceanClick Virtual Solutions’ Facebook page at 11:30 PM (both in Philippine Standard Time).

On June 30, UU LGBTQIA Fellowship will be hosting a first-of-its-kind Affirmations Ceremony at Dakong Balay at 4 PM, followed by the Art Talk.

For more information about the activities, please follow the official social media platforms of the organizers, partners, and sponsors mentioned above.


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About The Author

Roma Jane Hechanova

Roma Jane Hechanova, the Lead Organizer for the above two events, is a member of HAPI-Dumaguete. She proudly advocates for human rights, feminism, and education. She graduated summa cum laude and has a master’s degree in literature.

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