Who are we?

We, Filipino LGBTs residing in Europe, together with our partners and friends, formed the Amsterdam-based Stichting Filipino LGBT Europe.

We are an LGBT foundation supporting and improving the lives of LGBT Filipinos in Europe and the Philippines. There are over one million Filipinos living in Europe. We are Filipinos. We are Europeans. We are part of the community and call Philippines and Europe our home.

The main advocacies of our foundation are:

  • SOGIE Equality Law – A campaign to advance the passage of SOGIE Equality Law in the Philippine.
  • Marriage Equality – A campaign to advance the protection of Filipino LGBTs, their partners and families in the Philippine.
  • Out & Proud – A campaign that encourages and empowers Filipino LGBTs to accept and celebrate their identity and sexuality.
  • HIV Awareness – A campaign to help combat the alarming rate of new HIV infections in the Philippines.

Vision & Mission Statement


The Filipino LGBT Europe is a shelter/support group for Filipino LGBT’s and its allies living in Europe.  A community that advocates equality and empowerment, acceptance and diversity, and social change for the LGBT in the Philippines.


The Filipino LGBT Europe is a community foundation that is based in Europe which is dedicated in providing a voice for Filipino LGBTs living in Europe and in the Philippines. It aims to;

  • Be a support group for its community;
  • Create and maintain an inclusive environment for LGBT Filipinos in Europe;
  • Support education and increase HIV awareness in the Philippines;
  • Promote and campaign equality in the Philippines;
  • Campaign for Legal Recognition of Filipino LGBTs marriage/partnership/unions in the Philippines;
  • Mobilize and increase resources for the Filipino LGBT movement in Europe and in the Philippines;
  • Provide research and studies that is beneficial for the welfare of its community.

Executive Committee

Chris Sta Brigida, MA

Chairperson & President, Filipino LGBT Europe

Kris Albert Lee

Board Treasurer, Filipino LGBT Europe

Aris Ibarando is a solicitor based in London. He specialise in immigration and family law.

Aris Ibarando, LLB

Board Member & Legal Advisor, Filipino LGBT Europe

Ryan Aquino

Board Secretary & Vice President, Filipino LGBT Europe

Chei is teaching at the University of Amsterdam. She was a former assistant professor at the University of the Philippines.

Chei Billedo, PhD

Board Member & Academic Advisor, Filipino LGBT Europe

Hon Sophia Balod

Press Officer, Filipino LGBT Europe

Luna Obcial

OIC - Bayota Community Centre, Filipino LGBT Europe

Marlon Lacsamana

Marriage Equality Committee Head, Filipino LGBT Europe

Position is Vacant

Out & Proud Committee Head, Filipino LGBT Europe

Kaye Candaza

Committee on Trans Head, Filipino LGBT Europe

Position is Vacant

HIV Committee Head, Filipino LGBT Europe

Country Representatives / Coordinators

Filipino LGBT Europe – Belgium

August Mateo
Country Coordinator
Email: August@FilipinoLGBT.eu 

Originally from Luzon. He spent 4 years in Amsterdam and has now been living in Belgium for 11 years. Married to a Belgian for 10 years. His ambition with the foundation is to have the ability to connect Filipinos with each other, but also to assist in the cause to have his gay marriage recognised in the Philippines if ever him and his husband chose to return to the Philippines.

Filipino LGBT Europe – Germany

Joan Avellanosa
Country Coordinator
Email: Joan@FilipinoLGBT.eu 

Born and raised in Davao, she has been living in Germany for 18 years and married to her German-Filipino wife for 5 years. She currently works as a technical drafter (with AutoCad software) for engineering purposes. When she moved to Germany she really wished that there was an organisation similar to ours, when she was growing up. “I found it difficult to really know where to put myself and to find where I fitted in German society.” Being Filipino, lesbian and in rural Germany she wants to ensure that if there are others who feel alone as she did back then…. that they are not alone. Joan and our foundation are here for them. Joan: “I really want to do my part. Back then I had no one, if I can make one person feel better; then it is all worth it.”

Filipino LGBT Europe – Finland

AC Arellano
Country Coordinator
Email: Amarie@FilipinoLGBT.eu 

AC Arellano has lived in Helsinki, Finland for 14 years now. She’s originally from Batangas and moved to Europe in search of better life.

After many years of battling with herself and denying her true self, she decided to be completely honest with herself and has never felt better.


AC feels more comfortable to open up in Europe, to dream big and she feels accepted. She often wonders if she would have the courage to come out and to be as proud of herself if she were to be living in the Philippines.

Filipino LGBT Europe – Netherlands

Mary Grace Albaran
Country Coordinator
Email: MaryGrace@FilipinoLGBT.eu 

Mary Grace who hails from Quezon City has been living for 5 years in Amsterdam together with her partner Ana. Enjoying the work, life, love balance in Europe she feels fulfilled as The Netherlands is one of the countries that has progressive view on LGBT+.

Being a volunteer of the foundation, she and her partner, who strongly identify with the group believes that sharing their time and talent will be for the betterment of the community and its causes. She also wants to be empowered and at the same time empower individuals to be the best person they can be, to be a productive member of the family, the community, and the country without being boxed in by gender.

Filipino LGBT Europe – United Kingdom

Ronnie Del Barrio
Country Coordinator
Email: Ronnie@FilipinoLGBT.eu 

From Manila originally, he’s been living in the UK since 1990. An accomplished performer with theatre credits including Miss Saigon, Rocky Horror Picture Show in London’s West-End plus multiple TV credits Ronnie has a very solid background in entertainment and a great addition to our foundation. His creative talents and motivation to help others to live their lives fully as themselves is his drive and passion. He understands the importance for the foundation to have core goals, to maintain focus. But also to “finding solutions instead of all the problems.”

Filipino LGBT Europe – Spain

Giovanni Abaño
Country Coordinator
Email: Giovanni@FilipinoLGBT.eu

Giovanni is from Cebu City and has lived in Spain for 14 years now. Searching for a better life and better work opportunity he also had a big change with his sexuality as a gay man living in Europe. He is more open with his feelings because of the people around him being so accepting.

Filipino LGBT Europe – Switzerland

Morse Caoagas Flores
Country Coordinator
Email: Morse@FilipinoLGBT.eu

Morse Caoagas Flores lives in Switzerland and has been living in Europe for the past 16 years. He is from the Province of Cagayan in the Philippines and moved here in Europe, first, as an Erasmus Mundus Scholar for his Graduates studies (Sweden, Germany and Spain) and finally for work with the United Nations Office in Geneva, in the field of international law and human rights.

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