July 16, 2024

The Igorot Park was transformed into a colorful spectacle of anik-anik as the Bahaghari-University of the Philippines Baguio Chapter, in collaboration with allied organizations, launched its annual pride fair from June 26 to 28.

Titled Anik-anik ni Accling, the pride fair involved the sale of small items and merchandise to support ongoing advocacies and initiatives aligned with the objectives of promoting diversity, openness, and social justice in the city.

The organizers facilitated the exchange of arts and crafts during the three-day pride fair with the end goal of fostering a sense of community and providing a platform for diverse talents and creative expression.

Anik-anik refers to a mixture of small items, usually trivial ones that cannot be disposed of for practical and personal reasons, while accling is an informal derivative from the original word bakla.

The event was officially sanctioned by the city government, backed by a city council resolution and endorsed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

It served as a social and educational gathering for queers, allies, and the community at large.

Under the banner “LumabLAVarn 2024: Bakla ng bayan, lavarn para sa karapatan at kasarian!”, the event primarily aimed to raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, economic justice, human rights, and national sovereignty.

A unity tarpaulin serving as a manifesto was put on view, inviting queer individuals and allies to sign it as a gesture of support and solidarity. Mats were also laid down on the pavement where the event organizers held educational discussions on LTBTQIA+ issues and poetry workshops.

Other educational activities included games themed around the identities, aspirations, and challenges of queer people, as well as an open mic session aimed at facilitating meaningful discussions.

Karl Ramboyong, head organizer of the pride fair, said the event received overwhelming support from the community, especially from the youth.

Ramdam namin ‘yung malaya at bukas na pagtanggap ng mga tao sa aming campaigns for gender equality at social justice,” Ramboyong said.

Layunin naming ipamulat at maipasok sa kamalayan ng publiko ang mapait pero totoong kalagayan ng sangkabaklaan para hikayatin sila na makiisa sa sama-samang pagtindig para wakasan ito,” he added.

This year, LGBTQIA+ non-government groups such as the Aminan Pride Council, Northern Luzon Pride, Cordillera Pride Community Leaders, and Bahaghari initiated various events in the city to celebrate Pride Month.

The celebration featured different activities including general assemblies, panel discussions, film screenings, art exhibits, a pride run and parade, a pride fair, community picnics, a grand LGBT Ball, and the Search for Ten Outstanding Cordillera LGBT citizens. The celebration capped off with a Queer Prom last June 29.

Pride Month is a global movement typically observed in June. It originated from the Stonewall riots in 1969 where a series of protests against police were staged at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, marking a significant moment of visibility and advocacy for gay rights in cities across the United States.

Over the years, the conduct of pride parades and other events celebrating LGBTQIA+ identities have become a global mass action, especially expanding in places where discrimination and hostility against queer people are prevalent. – Jordan G. Habbiling