PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA — A powerhouse of leaders and advocates will be formed to jointly represent and concentrate all the efforts advocating the SOGIE Equality Bill.  A Campaign Center will be established to house a full-time secretariat that would serve as the media centre which will handle fundraising and will serve as spokesperson for the coalition. These proposals were highlighted during a Community Meeting held  at Capitol Commons in Pasig City, Metro Manila on Nov. 8, 2019.

The suggested coalition for the SOGIE Equality Bill aims to coordinate all activities that will contribute to the ultimate goal of passing the bill, as well as pooling the required resources from different organizations and parties to utilize its unique strengths and expertise. The community meeting, led by  Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros , was attended by LGBT organisations, allies, private and public sector advocates for the passage of SOGIE Equality Bill.

Senator Risa Hontiveros is the Chairperson of the Philippine Senate Committee on Women, Children and Family Relations. She extended the invitation to Filipino LGBT Europe and was represented by it’s Chairman Chris Sta Brigida, together with Amsterdam Pride 2019 Love Ambassador from Frankfurt, Germany Brian Fuentes, in the said community meeting.  

Love Ambassador from Germany Brian Fuentes, Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Chairman Chris Sta Brigida at the Community Meeting.

As a way of welcoming the participants, Senator Risa started by reiterating and affirming her commitment to the community and thanked  everyone for the hard work and dedication everyone has done so far for the advancement of the SOGIE Equality bill in the congress and in the Senate.  

Senator Risa Hontiveros’ welcoming speech at the Community Meeting held at Capitol Commons on Nov. 8, 2019.
Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (center) with stage performer Miss Holliday (left) and Gyknell Tangente (right) of Galang Philippines.
Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (left) and Love Ambassador Brian Fuentes (right) with Chris Eugene (top left) and Dennis Roda (top right) of Phillipine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride.
Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (left) with The Red Whistle President Benedict Bernabe (right).
Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (left) and Love Ambassador Brian Fuentes (right) with Gibby Gorres from Sen. Risa Hotiveros Office (center).

Expertise from pioneering organisations like UP Babaylan represented by Joel Acebuche, private sector Chris Eugenio (from Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride), initiatives from the public sectors, diplomatic core, and rallying support from Filipino overseas organisations like Filipino LGBT Europe were all highlighted and noted as key important ingredients necessary to win the campaign. 

Together with all various sectors efforts, Sen. Risa Hontiveros emphasizes  the need for the community to be even more united now and to have a collective plan of actions in order to have a more structured, strategic and stronger unified voice.

Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (left), Ronn Astillas President of Philippine LGBT Chaimber of Commerce (center), Love Ambassador from Germany Brian Fuentes (right).
Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (center) with JD Leion Cleofas (left) and Tetsu Komatsuzaki (right) of Pioneer FTP.
Love Ambassador Germany Brian Fuentes (left), Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (right) and celebrity ally Iza Calzado (center).
Chairman Chris Sta Brigida (left) and celebrity icon Angie Mead King (right).

Celebrity ally Iza Calzado attended the community meeting. For Iza, her support to the community comes deeply out of concern on why gay couples who works in her father’s company do not enjoy the same benefits as their heterosexual counter parts. She believes that everyone should be free to express themselves and should live their life to its fullest with rights and dignity. 

Celebrity icon and power couple Angie Mead King and Joey Mead King were also present in the meeting and showed their support. As a show of support they kindly offered their meeting rooms at their hotels to the community. 

At the end of the meeting, everyone in the room pledged their support to this initiative. 

Filipino LGBT Europe Chairman Chris Sta Brigida pledged his support on behalf of the foundation. He also proposed a mechanism to allow non-Metro Manila based organisation like organisations based in Visayas, Mindanao and or overseas based organisations be able to attend, observe or participate in the next meetings.

Filipino LGBT Europe Chairman Chris Sta Brigida with Philippine Senator Risa Hotiveros at the Philippine Senate.

During an earlier meeting at the Philippine Senate, Filipino LGBT Europe Chairman Chris Sta Brigida conveyed a message of gratitude on behalf of the foundation to Senator Risa Hontiveros for all the hard work she and her office have done so far for the LGBT community, for being our voice in the Senate and serving as a beacon of hope to many. 

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