Suspension of Disbelief

Archive for March 2015

Week 1: Road to #JusticeforJennifer

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Outrage Magazine | 29 March 2015



Jennifer Laude’s mother, Julita, still in anguish over the death of her daughter, at a press conference.

Various developments marked the first week of the trial of US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the main suspect in the death of slain transgender woman Jennifer Laude, including the re-emergence of the issue of plea bargain, and the appearance in court of key witnesses.


The camp of slain transgender woman Laude expressed dismay over Olongapo City Prosecutor Emilie delos Santos for allegedly pushing the family to enter a plea bargain agreement with the camp of Pemberton.

Atty. Virgie Suarez (TOP), and Jennifer Laude’s siblings face the media.

Atty. Virgie Suarez (TOP), and Jennifer Laude’s siblings face the media.

Hours before the trial began, the lead counsel of the Laude family, Atty. Harry Roque, said that “in the last hearing, she (Delos Santos) manifested that she would want to proceed with the plea bargain, where Pemberton could plea to a charge of homicide and will allow the civil case to continue; (this) is unprecedented,” Roque said. “Given the preference of Judge Delos Santos to enter this plea bargain, there’s now no guarantee for the Laude family that the prosecution will remain steadfast to procure a conviction for murder.”

Due to this, the camp of Laude submitted a formal request to the Department of Justice, requesting for Delos Santos to be replaced.

“The Laudes (submitted) a formal letter to ask that Delos Santos should be replaced, believing that thousand of prosecutors in the National Prosecution Service ought to be prosecuting, as they would be able and willing to see a convicted Pemberton for murder and not homicide,” Roque said.

Delos Santos denied the claim that she is pushing for a P21-million plea bargain deal in the case.

DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima already said that she would look into the complaint of the Laude family against Delos Santos, and has also directed the prosecutor to make comment about it “before I make a decision.”

Roque remained optimistic that their request will be granted by the DOJ.

“The victims have lost their confidence with the public prosecutor. I don’t see why the DOJ Secretary will consider Delos Santos as absolutely indispensable in this case given her actuation. And take note, her actuation took place in court. (And if our request is denied), we will go to court. Victims cannot be ignored in a criminal case,” Roque said.


A bellboy at the Celzone Lodge, the hotel where Jennifer was found dead, took the stand on March 23, the first day of trial.

Elias Gallamos, the first witness presented by the government prosecutors, narrated the what he witnessed on the night of October 11, the night Laude was killed.  Gallamos identified Pemberton as the man he saw with Jennifer, when the two checked-in at the hotel; he pointed to Pemberton, who sat in the courtroom, according to one of the Laude’s lawyers.

The US marine and Laude supposedly met at Ambyanz Disco earlier the night before they headed to Celzone Lodge.

Other details of the proceedings were not made available to journalists, as media coverage was barred during the trial.


The star witness of the prosecution took the stand on the second day of the trial.

Barbie (birth name Mark Clarence Gelviro), a close friend of Laude, first made her testimony in the Senate, when Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago requested for her presence last October 2014.

It was noted by Atty. Virgie Suarez, lawyer of the Laude family, that during the trial last March 24, Barbie was calm and consistent with her answers, and “she showed confidence the entire time, and that was a good thing.”

The defense did not show much objections throughout Barbie’s narration. For Suarez, this may be a tactical response on their part.

During the direct examination, Barbie also admitted that she’s a sex worker. However, she said that she does not know if Jennifer was also engaged in sex work.

“I may say that there were questions na hindi magaganda (that were distasteful), focusing on Barbie being a sex worker or a prostitute. But I don’t think those issues (Barbie being a sex worker) will in any way lessen her testimony, because again, being a prostitute does not mean that you can’t be killed when your customer is not satisfied or anything,” Suarez said.

On the issue of a plea bargain, Suarez said that it’s no longer an issue as “we are now on trial, so that’s already water under the bridge and we can no longer get back to the that. We are now proceeding with trial, tuloy tuloy na ito (this will already progress).”

But the trial ended early, as the third witness – Jacinto Miraflor, Celzone Lodge’s security guard on duty at the time when Jennifer was found dead – was not able to testify due to health reasons.

Julita, the mother of Jennifer; and Marilou, her sister, may also become possible witnesses.  They were therefore not allowed to be inside the courtroom during the trial.  Michelle, another sister of Jennifer, was the only one present in the courtroom.

“Normal na normal si Barbie sa loob, hindi siya natatakot. Nakakatuwa dahil nung tinuro niya talaga si Pemberton, na si Pemberton talaga ‘yung kasama nila that night, tumayo siya (Pemberton), makikita mo sa mukha niya na nahihiya siya, na-conscious siya (Barbie was very normal/natural, she was not scared. It was good that when she pointed out Pemberton, that it was Pemberton who was with them that night, he stood up, and you can see in his face that he was ashamed, he looked conscious),” Michelle said.


Although Julita was not present in the courtroom, but she waited outside.

Ang babaw talaga ng kaligayahan ang tingin nila sa amin. Talagang akala nila na pwede na nila magawa o maapakan ‘yung karapatan namin. Ang gusto ko lang naman talaga mangyari ay ‘yung makulong siya (Pemberton), maranasan niya, maisip man lang niya, bakit ko ginawa ‘yun (They think our source of happiness is very shallow. They think they can take or step on our rights. What we really want to happen is for him to be jailed, for him to experience, to make him realize why he did what he did),” she said.

Julita also expressed dismay over the supposed P21 million agreement with the camp of Pemberton.

Ang sinasabi nila na ganung halaga ang hinihingi namin, hindi katumbas ‘yun. Kasi ako ang nakakaalam kung gaano kasakit ang nangyari. Hindi na nila maibabalik sa akin ‘yung anak ko, ‘yung pagmamahal niya, ‘yung haplos niya tuwing nagkikita kami, hindi mababayaran ng milyon (When they said that that’s the amount we’re asking for, I say that’s not worth considering. Because I personally know how painful what happened is. They can not return to me my child, her love, her touches whenever we see each other; they can’t pay those even with millions),” she said.

The trial will resume on April 13 and is expected to last until September.



(Outrage Magazine remains the only publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.)



Laude’s case to test how Phl gov’t values its citizens, says Atty. Roque

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Outrage Magazine | 22 March 2015




As the trial of US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the 19-year-old suspect in the killing of transgender woman Jennifer Laude, is set to begin this week, the lead counsel of the Laude family, Atty. Harry Roque, once again reiterated that the family will not enter any agreement with the US.

Last March 10, during the pre-trial hearing of the case, the possibility of a plea bargain was raised. But the family and lawyers of the slain transgender stood firm during the media briefing afterwards, saying that they would not agree to a plea bargain and made it clear that they just want to see Pemberton go to jail.

LGBT and ally organizations are condemning the brutal murder of 26-year-old transpinay Jennifer Laude Sueselback allegedly in the hands of a US marine.

LGBT and ally organizations are condemning the brutal murder of 26-year-old transpinay Jennifer Laude Sueselback allegedly in the hands of a US marine.

Nitong mga nakalipas na pre-trial, talaga namang puspusan ang pagpilit ng pamahalaan sa pamilyaLaude na pumasok sa isang kompromiso sa bansang Estados Unidos. Pero lahat ay tinutulan at naninindigan kami na katarungan ang kailangan (In the past pre-trial (meetings), the government has been adamant in urging the Laude family to enter a compromise with the US. But we refused and stand by the belief that justice is what’s needed),” Roque said to Outrage Magazine.

Supposedly, even though the prosecution wants to expedite the trial, the Philippine government continues to urge the Laude family to enter an arrangement.

Dapat simula na ‘yung pag-pi-prisinta ng mga ebidensya, pero kami ay nagkakaroon ng alinlangan, dahil malinaw ang posisyon ng Pilipinas na gusto nila na magkaroon ng plea bargain (The evidences should have already been presented, but we are having apprehensions because the position of the Philippines is clear that they want to have plea bargain),” Roque said.

He also said that this case will test how the Philippine government values the welfare of its citizens and how important the Visiting Forces Agreement is.

The Laude family continues to believe that when the case is over, they will be given justice. They also believe that this is not only a fight of the LGBT community, but of every Filipino.

And they just hope that the government will support them when the trial begins, rather than counter the efforts of the prosecution.

Nasasaktan din ang pamilya doon sa mga ni-leak out, na sa tingin namin ay galing sa gobyerno, na ‘di umano ay humihingi sila ng P21 million. Ito ay pinapabulaan nila at itong walang kasunduan ngayon ay patunay na naninindigan sila na ang kanilang hiling ay katarungan. Dapat itigil na nila ang pagpilit sa pamilya Laude na pumasok sa isang kasunduan (The family was also hurt when the news was leaked, which we think also came from the government, that they’re asking for P21 million.  This was denied by the family, and the fact that there’s no agreement now is proof that they remain steadfast in demanding justice. They should stop forcing the Laude family to enter any agreement),” Roque emphasized.

Although the country still lacks a law that can protect members of the LGBT community against hate crimes, he said that this shouldn’t hinder the Laude family to receive justice.

Dahil si Jennifer ay isang miyembro ng LGBT (community), magiging isa itong qualifying circumstance to murder. Kasi nagpapakita ‘yan na ang pagpaslang ay hindi lamang paglabag sa karapatang mabuhay, kung hindi karaptan na rin sa right to privacy nung napatay (Because Jennifer was a member of the LGBT community, this becomes one of the qualifying circumstance to murder.  Because this shows that gettig murdered is not only a violation of the right to life, but also the right to privacy of the one who was murdered),” Roque explained. “Lahat naman tayo ay may karapatan na pumili ng ating kasarian, kung sino ang gusto nating mahalin, at kung sino ang gusto nating makapiling (All of us have the right to choose our gender identity, who we choose to love, and who we want to spend our life with).”

The absence of a hate crime law, especially during times like these, “only highlights the importance of it, so perpetrators would be punished accordingly,” Roque said.

As the trial begins this week and is expected to last until September, Roque calls for the support of the LGBT community throughout the whole time.

Dapat mas maging aktibo sa kasong ito ang mga LGBT; hindi namin nararamdaman ang presensya nila. Kung hindi sila maninindigan dito, baka sa susunod sila na ang magiging biktima, dahil na rin sa patuloy na pananatili sa ating bansa ng mga dayuhan, gaya ng Amerikano, na pinapalawak pa sa pamamagitan ng EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement). Panahon na na i-recognize na walang pwedeng manindigan sa interest ng mga Pilipino kung hindi ang ating mga kapwa Pilipino (The LGBT community should be active in this case; we are not feeling their presence. If they do not stand for this, they may become victims next, due to the continuing presence in our country of foreign powers, such as the US, further empowered by EDCA. It is high time to recognize no one will defend the rights of Filipinos but other Filipinos),” Roque ended.



(Outrage Magazine remains the only publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.)


Once there was a golden showgirl

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Outrage Magazine | 21 March 2015



What he does for a living is merely a “passion to entertain the audience,” he said.  He performs on stage – miming different songs, dances to a familiar tune, and presents different acts in a comedic way.

He goes under the name Gloria Manila.

He is from a group of Filipino gay senior citizens, most popularly known as the Golden Gays.

And at 68 years old, he doesn’t see himself slowing down. He is, he stressed, “still a showgirl”.


Gloria moved into the house of the late Justo Justo (known to many as JJ) when he was only 15 years old, living there until he reached his twilight years.

Mula noong namatay ang mga magulang ko, nagsosolo na ako sa buhay. Ang mga kapatid ko naman nasa Visayas lahat. Talagang nag-iisa nalang ako sa buhay ngayon (From that time when my parents died, I have been alone. My siblings are all in the Visayas. So I am really by myself now),” he said.

Gloria added: “Doon na ako sa bahay ni JJ lumaki. Kinuha nila ako at inampon. Sa kanila na ako lumaki, inalagaan ako ni Konsehal JJ (I really grew up in JJ’s house. His family took me in. They looked after me).”

In that former shelter for (mostly senior) gay men, the so-called Golden Gays had a family that they can call their own. It was something that most of them did not have. And for a time, they had a place they can call home.

Mas masaya kami noon, noong magkakasama pa kami sa isang bahay. ‘Yung iba sa amin hindi na iniisip kung saan titira o kung may sapat na pera para pangkain kinabukasan. Dahil magkakasama kami sa isang bubong, hindi ganun kahirap (We were happy then, while we were living together. Some of us didn’t have to worry where to live or if we had enough money to buy food for the next days. Because we were living together under one roof, life didn’t seem so hard),” Gloria said.

Unfortunately, it only lasted until JJ died.  His halfway shelter for the Golden Gays shut its doors.

He alleged that “mga barumbado ‘yung mga apo niya (JJ). Pinabayaan kami, pinalayas lahat ng Golden Gays. Ngayon, parang pagsubok na lahat ng mga bagay (JJ’s grandchildren were harsh. We were neglected, we were kicked out. So now, it seems that everything in life is a challenge),” he lamented.


But unlike some of the Golden Gays, Gloria continues to have a drive – that is, to get his share of applause from an audience, even now that he’s already in his sunset years.

Gloria started performing during the 1970s, as a regular at some of bars and clubs that offered alternative entertainment. Now, even as decades passed, he continues to perform on stage, although not as active as when he was younger.

Naalala ko noong kabataan ko, okay ang mga raket ko, kaliwa’t kanan. Pero ngayong tumanda na ako, nahihirapan na ako. Sa mga comedy bar na lang ako nakakapag-showngayon. Wala kasi akong alam na ibang trabaho kung hindi ang mag-show lang (I remember when I was young, I had numerous projects. But now that I am older, I am having a hard time. I now only perform in comedy bars where I get gigs. I don’t know of anything else to do aside from doing shows),” he said.  “Isa talaga akong showgirl (I am a true showgirl).”

Sadly, as his age – and the physical beauty that goes with it – progresses, the workload lessened. He is no longer a regular at any comedy bar, even if he gets occasional gigs.

Gloria is also frequent at some town fiestas, plays slapstick acts that often ridicule the ugly part of being gay or sometimes his old age.

Kahit magkano lang ang ibigay sa akin, okay lang. I don’t ask for a big amount of money,pakikisama lang ang kailangan ko, ‘yung pang-u-unawa nila. Hindi ko kailangan ng malaking pera. Kung magbibigay sila, kahit pamasahe lang, okay lang (It’s okay with me whatever amount is handed to me. I don’t ask for a big amount of money, just the companionship, and their understanding. I don’t need a lot of money. If they give me something, even if it’s just for my fare, that’s fine by me),” Gloria added.

Aside from his stint as a showgirl, he is also pre-occupied with his small beauty salon in Quezon City.

Binigyan ako ng parlor ng asawa ko. Pero minsan mahina ang kita doon. Alam mo naman ang kita sa parlor – minsan wala, minsan mayroon. Kung wala akong mga shows, sa parlorako nag-s-stay at nagbabantay (My partner gave me a parlor. But sometimes that doesn’t earn. You know how parlors are – sometimes they earn, sometimes not. If I don’t have shows, I stay at the parlor and look after it),” Gloria said. “Pero sa ngayon, pinagkatiwala ko sa kapatid ko ‘yung parlor, ‘yung pera na kita napupunta sa kanya. Binibigyan naman niya ako ng pangkain sa araw-araw, 60 pesos (But now I entrusted the parlor to a sibling, so the money the place earns goes to that sibling who just gives me money for food every day, 60 pesos).”


For every struggle Gloria experiences, he finds solace through one of the greatest things that happened to him – his almost lifelong relationship with his partner.

He met this wonderful man during his 40s and they have been together for 26 years and still counting.


“Kahit magkano lang ang ibigay sa akin, okay lang. I don’t ask for a big amount of money, pakikisama lang ang kailangan ko, ‘yung pang-u-unawa nila. Hindi ko kailangan ng malaking pera. Kung magbibigay sila, kahit pamasahe lang, okay lang,” Gloria Manila says.

Malungkot ako ngayon, wala akong katabi sa pagtulog. One and a half years na siyang nasa Mindanao kasama ang pamilya niya. Pero tinatawagan naman niya ako sa cellphone, kinakamusta niya ako (I am sad now because I have no one beside me when I sleep. He’s been in Mindanao for one and a half years now to be with his family. But he calls me to ask how I am),” Gloria said.

He remains hopeful that in the near future, his partner will come back to Manila to be with him again.

Alam ko babalik pa siya para magkasama ulit kami. Minsan tinanong ko siya kung may asawa na siyang iba dahil ang tagal na niyang hindi umuuwi dito, wala naman daw (I know he will come back so we can be together again. Sometimes I ask him if he has found someone else, and this is why he hasn’t been with me for a while; but he said he doesn’t have anybody else),” he added.

So for the time being, Gloria said that he will continue to entertain people through his knack in making everyone smile. Because after all, even if he’s already in his sunset years, he is and always will be a showgirl.

Wala akong gustong baguhin sa buhay ko. Naging masaya ako sa mga napagdaanan ko. Bakit ako may babaguhin? Magaganda naman ang naging buhay namin, pati na ang naging samahan namin ng mga Golden Gays (There is nothing I will change in my life. I’ve been happy with what I went through. Why would I want to change anything? Life has been beautiful, particularly the relationships we’ve formed with the Golden Gays),” Gloria ended.

To donate or extend help to The Home for the Golden Gays, visit or email



(Outrage Magazine remains the only publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.)


Club BuddhaKan: Disenchanted in Mandaluyong

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Outrage Magazine | 10 March 2015




Located at the back of GA Tower along EDSA, Club BuddhaKan reopened after it left the not-that-clean (read: filthy) yet somewhat-mysterious old cinema that used to house it along Aurora Blvd. in Cubao, Quezon City.

Buddhakan2For those not in the know, BuddhaKan initially gained traction as one of the (at that time) newest concepts in LGBTQ clubbing in Metro Manila, when it introduced itself as “that club inside an abandoned cinema house.” The concept worked perfectly – and should I say, not surprisingly. Those who used to frequent rundown cinemas to get action got curious.  So did those looking for novel places (after all, if Western countries have bars inside former churches, a club inside a former cinema was worth checking out). And so did those who have nowhere else to go to (or who were sick of the existing scene).  In no time, (the former) BuddhaKan gained regular patrons, from members of different clans, young members of the gay community, and even some veteran clubbers.

But sadly, it was not immune to the here-now-gone-tomorrow problem plaguing the gay party scene.  Just like the other bars/clubs before it, it slowly… died.

And now, after a short hiatus, BuddhaKan re-opens its doors in a new location.

Situated at the back of one of the biggest condominiums along Boni Avenue, along the residential stretch of the area, is the revamped version of the club.

Now – with the novelty of the older version in mind – how does this new one stack up?

First, the interiors of the place are a let-down – looking at the place now, I can’t help but think that it’s a step backwards considering the “grandness” of the old BuddhaKan (It was a cinema, hello!). This one dons layers and layers of draperies; and the area, aside from the spotlights, is illuminated by fancy-looking chandeliers.

Secondly, the drink list remains limited – should I say, just like how it was in the old place in Cubao. As such, when here, just expect the usual local beers and some simple cocktails (emphasis on “simple”).

Thirdly, and worth highlighting, is the attitude of the place’s staff members. We remain critical of people who do not seem to give proper service to the very people giving them business (for instance, we’ve been critical of O Bar in the past).  And so, I’d have to say this is another notable drawback of the new BuddhaKan.

When Outrage Magazine visited the club to attend its Red Party after they sent out a text invite, the people working there were actually unpleasant.  The receptionists, for instance, could not be bothered answering questions, and after they received the payment for the cover charge, just continued conversing with each other. Once inside, we were notified by one of the servers/waiters that there were no seats available, and that we just have to stand by the bar.  Interestingly, the club wasn’t even half full. And when we went to the bar to get our drinks, we were told that they ran out of ice, and so we were forced to have warm drinks.

If there’s a saving grace to this place, I’d say it’s the more-than-okay stand-up performers. The jokes are not all tired; and the comedians/comediennes have a not-that-bad comedic timing.  So if you’re up for a night of comedy (i.e. green and slapstick jokes thrown side by side), then you will probably enjoy what this place has to offer.

It saddens me to say that this place has a lot – make that “A LOT!” – of catching up to do for it to be a place you would like to be seen in regularly.  But try to visit if:

  1. You’re in Mandaluyong and you have nowhere else to go;
  2. You are looking for better-than-good performers;
  3. You have time (and money) to waste;
  4. You’re not over-particular when clubbing;
  5. You wanna check a (somewhat) new place;
  6. You were assigned to check out the venues that members of the LGBT community can go to; or
  7. You have an event there/You were invited to an event there.

As for me, well, you know where I stand…


Club BuddhaKan is located at 79 Sierra Madre St., Mandaluyong City.
For more information, visit the club’s Facebook page.



(Outrage Magazine remains the only publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.)


Fighting for what we believe is beautiful – Adore Delano

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Outrage Magazine | 01 March 2015



timthumb-1“It’s so cliché, but it’s always ‘be who you are’. Sometimes clichés are clichés because they’re right. It’s just as simple as that.  Don’t be afraid to just be who you are. Speak up, really.”

That is Adore Delano’s (real name:Danny Noriega) advice to young LGBTQ people.

“I always say that a lot of the drag queens get flak for what they do, but the first person in Stonewall who threw that stone in the glass was a drag queen. It’s like we fight for what we believe in and I think it’s a beautiful thing. If you have a voice, fucking speak up!”

Delano finished as one of the top three contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s sixth season, thereby making a name as an international drag queen. Even if she did not win the title as “America’s Next Drag Superstar”, she was one of the few queens who joined the reality show who ended up making a name somehow.

In an exclusive interview with Outrage Magazine, Delano recalled how the whole experience opened new doors for her life and career.

“My whole life changed. I can take care of my family now. I can confidently say that I don’t have to think about how much money I have in my bank account to buy this dress or anything.”

Delano could still recall how things were in the past, when she was just starting, “I was always that poor queen who would borrow $4 to buy a pack of cigarettes,” she said.  “But I don’t really have to do that anymore.”

Delano’s first album, “Till Death Do Us Party”, logged the biggest sales in a week from any of RuPaul’s Drag Race competitors, selling 5,000 copies during the week of its release.

The record also produced several singles that charted, like Party, which debuted at No. 3 on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart and at No. 59 on Billboard 200; and I Adore You, which debuted at No. 49 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and at No. 34 on Dance/Electronic Digital Songs.


Delano was in Manila recently, where casual and hardcore fans witnessed not only her singing prowess, but her wit.

“(My stay in Manila) has been fun. I think (the LGBT community here) is awesome. There are a lot of people who go to their favorite bars here, and they support the queens, and they appreciate all the work that these queens put on their shows. And they actually appreciate them,” Delano said.

Delano is now busy writing songs for her new album.

“I went through a lot of stuff last year and I get to put a lot of that into my music and just express myself,” she said.

And with her new album, she hopes to reach an even wider audience and inspire people through her songs.

“Hopefully people will gravitate towards the songs and can relate to them. I want to break new boundaries with my new album. And I’m really hoping that I hit the kids in the heart with my songs,” she said.

Delano recounted what it was like when she was growing up and how the things that happened to her
became life lessons.timthumb-2

“I was always unapologetic with the way that I was when I was growing up,” she said. “But it was hard. I got bullied a lot.”

Delano added: “You learn from that and you gain strength. It’s whether you fall from it or you learn from it and you build walls up. I felt like wearing makeup was like my superhero mask. And I was like, ‘no one’s going to fuck with me’.”

Delano has long moved from bitterness.  Asked what she can say to those who make the lives of LGBTQ people harder, she said: “They are wonderful. A friend of mine told me that when someone has anything to criticize against you, just look at them and say: ‘You are wonderful’. It’s good to just gravitate against all the negativity and just fuck them.”

For more information on Adore Delano, visit, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.



(Outrage Magazine remains the only publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.)


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