MANILA - The city government of Manila will be holding its first Pride parade in April to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community, pushing through despite calls for a boycott as netizens questioned the intent of the event.
The city, through its Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila (DTCAM), on Sunday announced it was organizing the inaugural Manila Summer Pride celebration.
The event, however, drew flak from netizens, with many noting how it seemed geared towards tourism promotion for the city.
DTCAM apologized for the confusion over having the event open even to those who are not LGBTQIA+, saying allies are also welcome to the event.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno also clarified claims that the city will be collecting an entrance fee to the event.
In a separate Facebook post on Wednesday, DTCAM thanked the public for their comments and recommendations.
"The Manila Summer Pride will be the first Pride celebration organized by the City Government of Manila and we are honored to host this historical event. In the course of our preparation, we have received criticisms which we have taken into deep consideration, knowing that these people criticize the upcoming Pride only to help us improve our efforts. We will forever be grateful for your comments and recommendations," the office said in its open letter.
DTCAM also explained that though Pride celebrations are traditionally done during June, considered as Pride Month, it decided to launch the celebration on April as it believes that Pride should be celebrated "anywhere and anytime of the year."
"Pride Marches in June are known all across the world and we understand that this also signifies unity among the LGBTQIA+ community members globally. However, times are changing and even in other countries and places in the Philippines, Pride Marches are now being conducted in different months and we believe that as a movement, it is due to be celebrated anywhere and anytime of the year," the office explained.
DTCAM, likewise, said that event is the local government's way of expressing its support to the LGBTQIA+ community.
"Through this event, we are proud to express it loudly that the City of Manila is an LGBTQIA+ ally, supporting their causes and providing a safe space for them to choose their Pride. The City of Manila is taking steps towards promoting gender diversity and legally protecting the LGBTQIA+ community."
The Manila Summer Pride will be held at Burnham Green at the Quirino Grandstand on April 19.