Sunday, July 14, 2013

Renowned Boholano director in Hollywood celebrates equality

Scene: Be there as romantic singer, composer and lyricist David Pomeranz will sing The Old Songs, Born for You, King and Queen of Hearts and Got to Believe in Magic this Sandugo fever on David Pomeranz LIVE! on July 21 at the Bohol Tropics. The concert is presented by Smart. Tickets are priced at P1,500, P800 and P500. For details, call 411-3510/412-2048.

Scene: On July 20, at the Bohol Cultural Center, 18 candidates are competing for Miss Bohol Sandugo 2013. Bohol's most popular choreographer par excellence Alexis CadeliƱa is directing the show.

Seen: Another tarsier in the city! A tarsier rescued at a bus terminal in Quezon City died after hours
of rescue. According to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), the tarsier was found to have “rope burns” on its chest and stomach. PAWB director Theresa Mundita-Lim explained that smuggling tarsier can be a threat not only to the species but also to the ecosystem it belongs to.
Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti Archbishop Barney Auza with fellow Boholanos during the 15th Biennial Convention of the Confederation of Boholanos in USA and America (Conbusac) in Chicago, Illinois. Courtesy: Charina Aumentado

Scene: Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto and his wife Balilihan Vice-Mayor Pureza Chatto in Chicago, Illinois for the 15th Biennial Convention of the Confederation of Boholanos in USA and America (Conbusac). Conbusac President Neil Bonje welcomed the participants to the event.  "CONBUSAC was formed as a group and by the collective efforts of Boholanos in the United States and Canada who share common bond of interest, the same nationalism and patriotism, are motivated by the needs back home, and have come together in response to the call of the Motherland in nation building," said the Conbusac official website.


Guess who's getting hitched?

Renowned director RD Alba, right, and Philip Anthony, left, celebrate at the West Hollywood in California after the Supreme Court rulings. Courtesy: RD Alba

No matter how you slice it, thousands of same-sex couples across the United States were thrilled by  Supreme Court rulings that same sex spouses legally married in a state may receive federal benefits and cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California by rejecting an appeal on the state's Proposition 8, including US-based Boholano director and producer  RD Alba.

They called it "supremely wonderful day" for equality.

RD Alba, who became popular for his direction of Kapalaran, Milyonaryong Mini and Biktima,  used the historic moment as an opportunity to exercise his rights and stand strong that all men, and women, and everything in between are created equal, together with his partner in life Philip Anthony.

"The decisions affect us emotionally because it means we do not have to struggle and fight for our rights," said RD in an email interview. "The laws are the same now for husband and wife as for any married couples/partners."

Same-sex couples in the US worried about second class treatment and issues that plagued them before like adoption, tax, hospital rights, medical benefits, immigration and end-of-life rights.

"What the ruling means to me and my partner? Well basic equality!  It's about time that we are treated the same like anyone else and not a second class citizens. We can have the same rights as any couple," explained RD. " Not long ago women didn't have the right to vote. Things are changing. I think millions of people around the world have someone they love and they want to be with that person. Why can't they have the same right? Love is a human thing, we should be treated like humans."
Supporters of same-sex marriage cheer at Hollywood, California. Courtesy: RD Alba

RD and Philip have been engaged for 14 years, but the couple's previously said they wouldn't marry until their gay friends were legally allowed to.

"Well we are not alone, millions of gay couples cried happy tears including our friends Colby and Brandon who have been together for four years and they want to marry. But for me and Phil, we have been together 14 years now, we celebrated together with our friends," said RD.

RD, who produced the critically acclaimed  Panaghoy sa Suba  (The Call of the River) with fellow Boholano Cesar Montano,  studied Drama at Jacksonville State University in Alabama and moved to Los Angeles to finish Film Directing at the Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood, California. He took his Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing at the Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood, where he was mentored by Philip Noyce (director of Clear and Present Danger, Bone Collector and SALT), Donald Petrie (director of Grumpy Old Men and Miss Congeniality) and Jon Amiel (director of Entrapment, Copycat and Tudors) to name a few. After college, he made several short films that went into local LA film festivals and in Canada. He also directed RSVP (hosted by actress G. Tongi and Dr. Tess Mauricio)  on TFC and The Dr. Tess Show on GMA Pinoy TV.

"So for future plans, now that we know that all is good, and everything is legal, we can marry anytime we want, no rush, we can plan our lives like normal. I say this not only for us but for the rest of humanity who are equal now and we should all agree that fair is fair,"  RD enthusiastically responded.

In the Philippines, same-sex marriage is not yet legally recognized although there is a reportedly high degree of tolerance and increasing visibility. The LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual) community is lobbying for such a union to be recognized under Philippine law, as part of its campaign for equal rights. However, MalacaƱang has distanced itself from the matter and said it is "best left to the sound discretion of the legislature."

RD's message to all: Well, I want everyone to know whether what religion, politics or belief you have - we should all live good lives, rrase the hate because that makes the chaos in this world. Keep to yourself your hate and turn it to goodness and  share the love. We only live once and we want to spend that with the persons we love!

In Germany, Ayessa Roi Cardino, who hails from Tagbilaran City, rejected the idea that homosexuals should be treated differently than other citizens.

"I welcome this new development in the US policy on same sex marriage. It goes to show that their magistrates are true to the principles of the US constitution on the equal protection clause," said Ayessa.

In California, Jocelyn Oppus from Baclayon seconded the point.
"Thats OK..its their life..who I am to judge if it is right or wrong..if we believe in God and as the Bible said marriage is between a man and a woman..then at the end its between them  and God because we are not be judged in the eyes of God of what we did but what's in our heart that only Him can see..kung sa ato pa..'"JAHAY MAN TA UG KALAG"..thats why we are given free will," she said.

While in Wilshire, California, Babat Malicay-Bagotchay from Lila was heartened by the news.
"I'm devastated! All the cute guys are now coming out in a open and now married to another hot guy!!! Hahahaha," she said.

Same-Sex Marriage Facts:

Same-sex marriage is legal in 13 U.S states and the District of Columbia: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. (The law goes into effect on August 1, 2013 in Minnesota and Rhode Island.)

Same-sex marriage is banned by constitutional amendment or state law in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

New Jersey and New Mexico have no laws either banning or allowing same-sex marriage.
Worldwide, 15 other countries (and parts of Mexico) also have laws allowing same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships: Argentina (2010), Denmark (2012), New Zealand (2013), Spain (2005),Belgium (2003), France (2013), Norway (2009),  Sweden (2009),Brazil (2013), Iceland (2010), Portugal (2010), Uruguay (2013),Canada (2005), The Netherlands (2000) and South Africa (2006).

Civil Unions: Civil unions grant couples most of the rights of state civil marriages, but provide none of the federal benefits of marriage, such as Social Security benefits. These rights include spousal support, medical decision-making privileges, access to a partner's insurance, and hospital visitation rights. Civil unions are legal in: Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey.

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

The Bohol Chronicle , July 7, 2013 issue

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