Two LGBT community leaders in Europe accepted the challenge. Chris Sta Brigida, the Chairman of the Filipino LGBT Europe foundation and Luna Obcial, the foundation’s Coordinator for the Netherlands, will be participating at this year’s 36th Wallenloop fundraising run in Naarden to be held on 19th May.
“Challenge accepted! Takbo, Bakla, Takbo!” (Run, Queer, Run) Chris shouted to Luna after officially registering their intent to participate.
They are running to raise awareness to one of the foundation’s main advocacies: HIV awareness. Their run is also to raise funds for the foundation’s participation at this year’s prestigious Amsterdam Canal Pride Parade in August. A momentous occasion since this is the first time in 24 years that an Asian boat will be represented at the world renowned event.
“Nakakabahala ang patuloy na pagtaas ng HIV infection rate sa Pilipinas. Base sa pinakahuling tala ng Department of Health, from 2 new HIV cases in 2009, it is now 38 new HIV cases everyday. 50% belongs to the age group 25-43 and 29% belongs to the age group 15-24. Pabata ng pabata ang nagkaka-HIV. With our participation to this run, we want to inspire all young people, particulartly Filipino LGBTs in the Philippines to take care of their health. We only have one life, one body and we should take care of it. Kayamanan natin ang ating kalusugan. Let us be happy, be healthy, and be free from sickness.” foundation chairman Chris Sta Brigida said.
The Amsterdam gay canal pride parade is one of Amsterdam’s largest events which internationally attracts hundred thousands of people to the city, and is witness by at least 2 millions viewers broadcasted live on TV and online.
Chris Sta Brigida: “Amsterdam Pride is a great opportunity to introduce our Foundation. Through our participation, we hope to attain greater visibility to our causes. We want the crowd to heed our call: A better future for Filipino LGBTs, that we may have a Philippine society that not only legally empowers LGBTs, but also embraces and nurtures our individuality”.
“With our participation to this run, we want to inspire all young people, particulartly Filipino LGBTs in the Philippines to take care of their health. We only have one life, one body and we should take care of it. Kayamanan natin ang ating kalusugan. Let us be happy, be healthy, and be free from sickness.”
Luna Obcial: “We want to highlight the importance of being part of a community, being appreciated but also to be represented and seen so that the young LGBTQ+ see that it’s possible to be Filipino LGBTQ+ proud and happy. We want to show people that it is possible to be celebrated, to be happy, to love who we love and to be unapologetic for who we truly are.”
Please help support our foundation by making a donation via this link: https://www.facebook.com/donate/2229521803761576/.
Also show your support by lining the streets of Naarden to support Chris and Luna on their run!