Sunday, November 29, 2009
This will be on December 1 - 4, 2009
Watch out for us at the Humanities Steps! We will be giving away informative materials on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines and how you can protect yourself and your partner from STDs.
World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS.1 Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.2
The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
HIV/AIDS in the Philippines
The Philippines is a low-HIV-prevalence country, with less than 0.1 percent of the adult population estimated to be HIV-positive. Since 1984, when the Philippines’ first case of HIV was reported, approximately one-third of diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases have occurred among returning migrants. However, because HIV testing for these workers is mandatory in most host countries, this number may be disproportionately high. As of September 2007, the Department of Health (DOH) AIDS Registry in the Philippines reported 2,965 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). UNAIDS estimates that 12,000 Filipinos were HIV-positive by the end of 2005.
Heterosexual intercourse accounts for the majority (61 percent) of the Philippines’ reported HIV/AIDS cases, followed in descending order by homosexual and bisexual relations, mother-to-child transmission, contaminated blood and blood products, and injecting drug use, according to UNAIDS. Men comprise 66 percent of reported cases. Most-at-risk groups include men who have sex with men (MSM), 1 to 3 percent of whom were found to be HIV-positive by sentinel surveillance conducted in Cebu and Quezon cities in 2001, and injecting drug users (IDUs), 1 percent of whom were found to be HIV-positive in Cebu City in 2005. A high rate of needle sharing among IDUs in some areas (77 percent in Cebu City) is of concern. Sex workers, because of their infrequent condom use, high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other factors, are also considered to be at risk. In 2002, just 6 percent of sex workers interviewed said they used condoms in the last week. As of 2005, however, HIV prevalence among sex workers in Cebu City was relatively low, at 0.2 percent.
Several factors put the Philippines in danger of a broader HIV/AIDS epidemic. They include increasing population mobility within and outside of the Philippine islands; a conservative culture, adverse to publicly discussing issues of a sexual nature; rising levels of sex work, causal sex, unsafe sex, and injecting drug use; high STI prevalence and poor health-seeking behaviors among at-risk groups; gender inequality; weak integration of HIV/AIDS responses in local government activities; shortcomings in prevention campaigns; inadequate social and behavioral research and monitoring; and the persistence of stigma and discrimination, which results in the relative invisibility of PLWHA. Lack of knowledge about HIV among the Filipino population is troubling. Approximately two-thirds of young women lack comprehensive knowledge on HIV transmission, and 90 percent of the population of reproductive age believe you can contract HIV by sharing a meal with someone.
1. UNAIDS (2009, November), 'AIDS epidemic update'
2. UNAIDS (2008, August), '2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic'.
3. WHO, UNAIDS & UNICEF (2009, September), 'Towards universal access: scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector'.
4. USAID HIV/AIDS Health Profile for the Philippines - September 2008
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Ever since Rica entered the PBB House, she has always carried herself well. She has never been a burden to her housemates but instead has proven to be an asset to them with her leadership skills, quick thinking and positive attitude. She has helped in household chores, shared her talents selflessly, related wholeheartedly, and always contributed to the completion of tasks in the best way she could. The whole world knows that Rica has been nothing but a consistent team player, a shoulder to cry on, a loyal friend and a loving and reliable sister to all of her housemates.
We are therefore calling on all the housemates to STOP BASHING RICA for she has done nobody any harm. STOP DISRESPECTING RICA for she has only treated all of them with grace and care. STOP DISPARAGING RICA for she is simply being herself. The asinine machismo being directed at her is the same kind of misogyny that leads to violence against women. The narrow-mindedness being displayed by some of the PBB Double Up housemates is the same kind of bias that leads to abuse, insensitivity and cruelty towards others. This is totally unacceptable behavior and must be stopped at all costs.
This has to stop if we believe in the equality of all persons. This has to stop if we want to create a world where the uniqueness of all is valued. This has to stop if we want to create a better world where kindness, compassion and respect reign, a world that hopefully upholds the inherent dignity of all.STOP TRANSPHOBIA SA BAHAY NI KUYA!
Founded in 2002, the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) is the first and only transgender rights advocacy organization in the Philippines. STRAP envisions a nurturing society that affirms, respects and upholds the dignity, the right to self-determination and good quality of life of all.
Website: www.tsphilippines.com. E-mail: email@example.com.
As part of the worldwide commemoration of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) and UP Babaylan organized the TDOR week in UP Diliman. Several activities were lined-up for the whole week to remember and memorialize transgender people whose lives were lost due to anti-transgender hate or prejudice, otherwise known as transphobia.
On November 24, an exhibit of the dead at Palma Hall lobby was opened to the public to spread awareness about TDOR. The event was attended by members of both organizations, STRAP and UP Babaylan, and other invited guests. The exhibit displayed reported cases of transgender people that were killed over the past year. These cases are posted on the transgenderdor.org website.
Monday, November 23, 2009
November 24 - 27, 2009, UP Diliman Campus, Quezon City
Nov. 24 (Tue.)
10:00 AM, TDOR Exhibit Opening | Palma Hall Lobby (Exhibit runs... until the 27th)
Nov. 27 (Fri.)
2:30 - 5:00 PM, TRANSCEND: Stories and Struggles of Transpeople in the Philippines (Forum) | UP Diliman Gender Office, Benton Hall
6:00 PM, Candle-lighting Ceremony | Palma Hall Lobby
To participate or for inquiries, contact STRAP Secretary Ms. Mae Emmanuel Hernandez at mobile (0905.352.0943) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
TDOR website: http://www.transgenderdor.org/
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
ANG LADLAD is a national organization in the Philippines composed of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) and heterosexuals. The organization filed a petition at the COMELEC to participate in the 2010 elections as a partylist representing the marginalized LGBT sector. However, the COMELEC denied the petition in the resolution on grounds of morality.
The document SPP Case No. 09 - 228 (PL) stated that “the petition is dismissible on moral grounds” and that the “petitioner tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs” which was followed by quotations from the Christian Bible (Romans 1:26, 27) and the Kuran to support its concept of “morality”.
"Should this Commission grant the petition, we will be exposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of OUR FAITH. Lehman Strauss, a famous bible teacher and writer in the U.S.A said in one article that ''older practicing homosexuals are a threat to the youth"…
We are not condemning the LGBT, but we cannot compromise the well-being of the greater number of our people, especially the youth…"
Religion and morality is a classic argument against homosexuality that has been debunked over and over again as more and more countries permit gay marriages. It is worth noting that before Spain colonized the Philippines we had the Babaylan, a woman or a gay man who played an active role in society as a priestess. Medieval religious teachings from our Spanish colonizers taught us the culture of hate on homosexuals, and it is the same medieval mindset that COMELEC uses to deprive our rights as Filipinos.
GAY RIGHTS IS HUMAN RIGHTS
As Filipino lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders we do not invoke any special right to participate in this election as a party list. As stated in The Bill of Rights of the 1987 Philippine Constitution:
Article III Section 5. (1) No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. (2) The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. (3) No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
The Bill of Rights applies to ALL FILIPINOS wether he or she is a homosexual or not. Furthermore, Section 6 of the constitution stressed the SEPARATION BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE CHURCH. No religious test shall be required for us to exercise our political rights such as passing any religion’s standard of morality. The COMELEC has clearly violated the constitution and hampered OUR democratic rights.
WE are not a threat to the youth.
On the issue of US homosexuals and bisexuals being a threat to the youth... We are the youth. What threatens us is the hate and prejudice that we experience. Young lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders are hiding their sexuality and suffering as day by day they try and live a life that fits your “moral” standards. Everyday a homosexual boy or girl is harassed emotionally, physically, and sexually just because they have learned to love the same sex. These are real threats to our lives but rarely do they get noticed. This argument is plainly stupid and it shows how the COMELEC has based its decision on homophobia and stereotypes.
Being a homosexual should not put us in an inferior status. We are Filipinos regardless of sexual orientation and EVERYBODY has right to participate in the political process. While it is the government’s duty to uphold morality, it certainly should not be based on religious theologies!
We, the members of UPLB Babaylan is united in the stand that the COMELEC must recognize Ang LADLAD as a partylist and adhere to the constitution of our country. We are calling out all LGBT to unite for our advocay to promote gender equality and end discrimination.
GAY RIGHTS IS HUMAN RIGHTS!
GAY RIGHTS NOW!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Please join us in supporting Rica. Long live Transpinays!
10 October 2009
Dear Friends, Allies & Supporters,
We, the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), a transgender rights advocacy organization and support group for girls and women of transsexual experience, are very proud to announce that one of our very own, Ms Rica Paras, is now a Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) housemate. Housemate Rica, the Math Goddess of Bacolod (although she is really from Iloilo, entered the PBB house tonight, 10 October 2009, Saturday, and we believe that given the dearth of positive and empowering media images of transgender Filipinas or transpinays, her addition to the cast of PBB housemates marks a significant milestone both in the history of Philippine TV but as well as in the local transgender liberation movement. Rica is the first out and proud transpinay who will ever enter the PBB house and be watched by millions on national TV.
This is perhaps just rightly so as Rica’s story, indeed, is one that needs to be told. Growing up in a lower middle-class household in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, Rica at a young age displayed an affinity for science and mathematics. This led her to attend the prestigious Western Visayas campus of the Philippine Science High School where she was a consistent A-student. Later, Rica won a scholarship to study Mathematics at Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) where she graduated with honors. The last six years, Rica has been working as a globally certified IT consultant for a multi-national company training people in sales, product distribution and finance.
That Rica’s story may serve as an inspiration to people who are dealing with difficult gender and identity issues at a young age is not lost on us. Many of us, her sisters in STRAP, know all too well how it is like to grow up with no one to look up to, deprived of role models on TV who look like us and are going through the same things in life. We would therefore like to invite you to watch Rica on PBB so that she can tell you her story in her own words. There is so much more to know so watch and see the amazing person that we have all come to love and cherish. More importantly we hope that you will join us in supporting our dear sister and ensuring that she emerges the Big Winner of this season’s PBB.
Add Rica Paras on Facebook, Multiply and Friendster. Do not forget to text in your vote for her also so that she can stay in the PBB house until the Final Four. Help us bring Rica’s story of succeeding against all odds and breaking stereotypes and barriers to the millions of Filipino households that watch PBB every day and every night. Remember that a vote for Rica is a vote for our desire for change—change in the kind of people we see on TV and change in the way people will see people like us. A vote for Rica is a vote for the dreamer in us—that anyone, regardless of gender, religion, social status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. can dream big and work hard for a better life. A vote for Rica is a vote for self-determination—that ultimately we are the masters of our fate and the captains of our souls. Only we can decide for ourselves who we want to be and who we really are!
In love and peace,
Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)
Friday, November 13, 2009
Punong Babaylan - Paul Andrew Manuales
Pangalawang Punong Babaylan - Sheila May Abucay
Secretary - JP Romero
Treasurer - Eunice Hazel Galamiton
Membership Committee Head - Rizza Revereza
External Committee Head - Fern Delos Santos
Education Committee Head - Maverick Sanchez
Publication Committee Head - Quennie Mae Santos
So UPLB, be ready for something fabulous!
Kudos to our Execom! Mabuhay kayo!
It was on July 6, 2009 when 41 individuals gathered at the Humanities Steps and marked the establishment of UPLB Babaylan, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students' support group which believes in the inherent equality of all persons regardless of status or condition. For the organization, this inherent equality implies that human beings should not be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation.
-Forge unity among LGBT communities in UPLB
-Provide support services for LGBT students
-Promote awareness of LGBT issues in the university
-Lesbian and Gay Rights Advocacies
-Gender Sensitivity Workshops
-Conference and Symposia on LGBT issues
-Networking with National and International LGBT Organizations
-Manila Pride March
-World AIDS Campaign
-International Day Against Homophobia
-Transgender Day of Remembrance
-Gender, Sex and Sexuality
email - email@example.com | mobile - +639162764398