January 29, 2020 (8:47 AM)

3 min read

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LGBT Education. Mr. Jesus Allaga Montajes, Ateneo and Arts Culture Head encouraged the students to challenge the state by enhancing LGBT education in the Philippines in a forum last January 27 in the 3/F Ricci Hall, CCFC.

“This (country) is pretty colonial but at least I am a product of colonialism that is able to question the status quo.”

Encouraging the students to proudly voice their orientations, Mr. Jesus Allaga Montajes, Ateneo and Arts Culture Head, stressed that students must challenge the state by enhancing the power of LGBT education in the Philippine context.

Continuing his testimony, Montajes also emphasized the power of change in eradicating gender inequality.

“I will offer options. I don’t make a difference in the society, but I should be the end path of how to challenge the status quo,” he said.

In an event entitled “Tracing the Historical and Cultural Context of LGBT Communities in the Philippines,” Montajes affirmed that tracing out Philippine history offers explains the plight of the LGBT in the Philippines.

With this, he discussed the underlying concepts occurring on being in third sex, saying that “to historicize LGBT discourse/context in the Philippines is to recognize the difference between gender and sexuality.”

In his discussion, Motajes described being gay by differentiating the Western and Philippine setting – the former pertaining to a sexual identity brought up by having an attraction with the same sex while the latter being “a man being stuck with a woman’s heart.”

Motajes also explained the timeline and the transformation of perceptions of the LGBT Community concerning the “kabaklaan culture” in the Philippines.

The timeline goes down to the prehistoric era where, in tradition, gender crossing was accepted to be culturally relevant to men. These have been evident in the babaylan or catalonan, a high-ranking spiritual priestess or a shaman, who can be also determined by men.

Additionally, male babaylans during that time can be married to other men, in which the men have become their babaylan’s maridos or husbands.

However, during the Spanish period, machismo culture was implicated. With this, gender crossing became a difficulty and male domination become pertinent.

The word “bakla”, originally meant as “confused” or “coward,” was also coined on this era

On later years, the Western influence on sexualization on the American period helped highlight formation of various sexual identities through biomedical discourses, such as personal hygiene, and counseling.

In this era, the word “bakla” can be equated to the term “homosexual” – a term used to describe the understanding of “homo/hetero” dichotomy.

On present time, a new sexual order is now created, stating that the understanding and the consideration to Philippine LGBT Community is significant “not just on the gender-transitive but also to the ‘masculine’ side of men.”

The event was organized by the Ateneo Libulan Circle last January 27 in the 3/F Ricci Hall, CCFC Building.



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