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‘Sulong, Vaklash!’ Metro Manila Pride’s 2021 theme shows that pride is still a protest

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Jun 01, 2021 7:26 pm

With the pandemic still in full swing, this year's Metro Manila Pride (MMP) is still marching on digitally.

In case you didn't know, Metro Manila Pride is comprised of volunteers aiming to advance legislation against discrimination, support the work of local performers, and open the conversation on LGBT issues in the country.

Though their work is year-round, their biggest event is undoubtedly the Metro Manila Pride March held every year, where LGBT members and supporters march the streets of Marikina and eventually gather and enjoy the festivities at the Marikina Sports Center. With over 70,000 participants at the 2019 Pride March, the country continued its stride of being the largest Pride event in Southeast Asia.

With the pandemic continuing to dampen this year's march amid social distancing protocols, the organization is once again taking their cause to the digital realm, particularly via Twitter spaces, Instagram Live, Facebook Live events, and more.

With 2020's theme of ‘SULONG! Wag Patinag!’ in mind, this year’s theme of 'SULONG, VAKLASH, the organization is once again going beyond the month's rainbow aesthetic and surface-level celebrations to bring forth the need to fight against LGBTQ+ discrimination in the country.

The word vaklash is also a play on the Filipino words bakla (gay) and baklas (break off).

“Sulong, VAKLASH! Para sa kolektibong lakas na ating ibabahagi sa isa’t isa. Sama-sama tayo laban sa diskriminasyon at dahas. Sama-samang pagkilos ang ating magiging lunas,” Metro Manila Pride shared on their site.

("Sulong, VAKLASH! For the collective strength we all share with one another. We are one in the fight against discrimination and abuse. This collective movement will be our healing.")

This year's official Metro Manila Pride poster and theme

"Sulong, VAKLASH! Para sa dagliang pagpasa ng SOGIE Equality Bill! Para sa makataong solusyong medikal laban sa pandemya, upang pangalagaan ang buhay at kabuhayan ng mga Pilipinong LGBTQIA+ at iba pang mga marhinalisadong komunidad," they continued.

("Sulong, VAKLASH! For the swift passing of the SOGIE Equality Bill! For medical, not military, solutions amid the pandemic - and the benefit of the Filipino LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized sectors.")

Meanwhile, the organization has yet to announce its month-long social media schedule, though the held a 'Share Your Pride' Instagram Live event on June 1 to welcome the month.

If we’re taking a page from last year’s online activities though, Metro Manila Pride will likely showcase interactive talks, online safe spaces, and performances with over 41 organizations in tow.

You can follow the organization via their official website or Facebook page.

Photos from Metro Manila Pride