Boy Abunda lauds UK lesbian group for support

by Patrick Camara Ropeta, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Dec 12 2012 09:55 AM | Updated as of Dec 12 2012 05:55 PM

LONDON - Prominent television personality Boy Abunda showed his appreciation for the support of a UK-based lesbian group through a heartfelt video message.

Boy Abunda sends a prerecorded video message thanking FilMo for their support for Ladlad and Filipino LGBT

The ABS-CBN host thanked Filipino Lesbian Movement (FilMo) for their work for Ladlad, the sociopolitical organization of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in the Philippines.

“Maraming salamat sa inyong suporta sa ating mga kasamahan dito sa Pilipinas,” Abunda said in a special video message for FilMo, screened at the group’s Christmas party in aid of Ladlad.

“Napakahalaga sa akin ng inyong involvement dito sa ating pakikipaglaban para sa mga karapatan ng LGBT community sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo.”

Established in May 2012, FilMo is organized by a small group of Filipino lesbians in London, aiming to help promote LGBT rights in the Philippines, as well as funding community projects.

FilMo officers carolling to raise charity funds at their Christmas past in Secret Heart Church Hall in London

Abunda, an advocate of LGBT rights and senior adviser at Ladlad, praised the group’s efforts in helping good causes for fellow Filipinos.

“Malungkot ang labang ito. Tatanggapin ko yan mula sa aking puso, na minsan may mga katanungan na saan ba tayo papunta. Meron ba talagang kahihinatnan ang labang ito. Nauunawaan ba talaga tayo ng mundo,” he said.

“Pero pagdumadating yung inyong mga balita, dumadating yung inyong boses, inyong tulong, inyong pagmamahal, parang nabubuhayan kami dito sa Pilipinas.”

In November 2012, FilMo and Ladlad worked together on a community project in Payatas, entertaining children with special needs while serving meals and giving away school supplies.

“It’s an honor to be acknowledged by someone like Boy Abunda, dahil nakita niya kung paano din namin susuportahan ang Ladlad sa kongreso,” said Vannz Bio from FilMo.

LGBT in Congress

Ladlad recently announced its first congressional nominee, Bemz Benedito, a trans-woman vying for a political seat in the Philippine General Elections in May 2013.

“Ang aim namin ay para mag-kaisa lahat. On top of that, kailangan magmahalan kami. And most importantly, we have to understand each other,” said Bio, whose group vowed to support Ladlad and Benedito in their bid for congress.

In another video message, Benedito also thanked the group for their trust and support, saying: "Nagpapasalamat ako sa tiwalang ibinigay ninyo sa akin at sa ating partidong Ladlad na maisakatuparan ang inyong pinaghirapan na proyekto. Sana ay umpisa pa lamang ito ng ating pagsasama para makatulong sa iba.”

LADLAD congressional nominee Bemz Benedito with TV host Boy Abunda

Abunda, who recently featured Benedito in his ABS-CBN talk show “The Bottomline,” added: “Hindi ito laban ng isa. Hindi ito laban ng isang partido. Hindi ito laban ng isang grupo. Hindi ito laban ng isang komunidad ng LGBT dito sa Pilipinas. Pero laban ito ng LGBT community sa buong mundo.”

Ladlad is the first political party to be made up of LGBT Filipinos. Their mission statement emphasizes a commitment to promoting equal rights in the Philippines, as well as dealing with issues on poverty, employment, discrimination, health and education.