In early 2019, Celeste Francisco and Daniel Lazo, on our organizing team, believed that LF could serve a critical space in our Queer – and broader – Pilipinx communities in elevating our collective consciousness around the experiences, stories, and innovation of Queer Pilipinx leaders across our country.
The theme for our inaugural Queer Pilipinx Summit is “Lakbay”, the Tagalog word for “Journey” or “To Take a Trip.” Celeste and Daniel drew inspiration from an earlier article published on “The Deeper Meanings of Lakbay and Bakla” by Perla Daly (August 2011) for her composition that examined the connection between the Tagalog words, Lakbay and Bakla.
OUR INSPIRATION: BAKLA <> LAKBAY
“Bakla” the Filipino word for “Gay” or literally, “Third Sex.”
In Philippines society, we see that all types of “Bakla” or Gay Men are integrated and accepted in popular culture. Families in the Philippines might also receive having a gay child as a sign of good fortune. In fact, we see in Philippines society that men that enjoy transcending our Western ideals of gender norms, i.e., sporting “effeminate” fashions and styles, are accepted and face prejudice and discrimination at lower rates compared to other parts of the world. Among the Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines continues to stand among the most welcoming and accepting of gay and queer communities in broader society. And rightfully so, as we’ve seen the emergence of Queer Philippine innovators, inventors, and tastemakers – like Geena Rocero – rise to the global stage.
The Tagalog words Bakla and Lakbay, written in Baybayin (a pre-Hispanic Philippines script) hold a special relationship. Pictured below, are the Baybayin symbols for Lakbay and Bakla, showing the inverse relationship between the two.
Put into literal translation, Lakbay is a journey you take away from your usual environment to reflect, explore, and better understand yourself.
Bakla is the inward journey to wholeness where you find that you are complete within yourself. This wholeness allows you to share and bring gifts to your kapwa.
LF’s 2021 Queer Pilipinx “Lakbay” Summit elevates the twin concepts of Lakbay and Bakla. Through tying Philippines society and openness with Queer communities with our experiences, stories, and narratives, our 2021 Lakbay Summit brings the conversation squarely into the context of the Fil Am diaspora.
Check out some of our previous speakers, performers & panelists from our past summits.
- Melissa & Dennis Nievera-Lozano (Workshop Facilitator) – Reparenting Our Queer Selves
- Trinidad Escobar (Keynote)– poet, cartoonist, journalist, and musician from Milpitas, CA
- Cai Marcos (Panelist)– Student at
- ANNAMACAN (Performer) – Fil-Am guitarist/songwriter
- AstraLogik (Performer)– Queer Filipina Neo-Soul Artists
- and MORE
- Sera Fernando (Workshop Facilitator)– Analyst, Activist, Organizer, Change Agent
- Eufrosina Gates (Keynote)– Founder of Thug Therapy
- Luzanne Batoon (Panelist)– Software Engineer
- Joyce Zara (Panelist)– Full Spectrum Birthworker Doula, Poet, Ceramonialist
- AV (Performer)– Educator/Hip Hop Artist
- and MORE
The Queermmittee serves as the driving force behind the thought development, content curation, and production of our Queer Pilipinx “Lakbay” Summit.
For more information, please contact Celeste Francisco, Queer Summit Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.