A group of people sitting together with the Pride flag

British Embassy Manila

Monday 20 June 2022

The British Embassy Manila and the British Council in the Philippines, with support from the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) celebrated Pride month through ‘The road to Pride continues’. 

‘We are proud to be champions of LGBTQ+ rights because it is the right thing to do...It is important to remember all the people who have worked so hard and lost jobs, loved ones, families, livelihoods – to do the right thing to get us where we are today,’ British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils noted during her welcome remarks. 

Pride month is takes place every June to celebrate the pursuit of equal justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, as well as the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals around the world.

With short films ‘Isaac and the Ram’ (2019, directed by Jason Bradbury, UK) and Alingasngas ng mga  Kuliglig (The Gossips of Cicadidae, 2021, directed by Vahn Pascual, Philippines) kicking off the discussion,  LGBTQ+ advocates, film enthusiasts and artists gathered on 16 June at the British Ambassador’s Residence. 

The power of film

Bradbury’s film peeks into a night in the life of Isaac, a homeless gay teenager who was rescued from a male predator, by a bouncer named Hank. In the UK, one in four gay teenagers is homeless. 

On the other hand, Pascual’s silent film features the love story of a tikbalang (elemental beast) and the son of an albularyo (healer). ‘I just wanted to say that love is equal. I want my viewers to know who the real monsters are. Are these the people who are just showing their real feelings or those against it?As a filmmaker, you have the power to change people’s minds That’s why we are here - to send our personal sentiments through the arts,’ Pascual added. 

Sharing best practices

FDCP Chair Liza Diño talked about the role of films and her institution in elevating the discourse on equality and inclusion. ‘We have created platforms to empower the youth,’ as she noted that FDCP recognises Pascual as a young ambassador for film. 

ASEAN SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) Caucus Executive Director Ryan Silverio shared how their group empower local LGBTQ+ communities in the region. ‘Hopefully we will be able to share good practices with the government to protect the rights of the LGBTQs.’

 ‘It is important that everyday, really, or at the very least, every Pride month, we take time to reflect on...what [the LGBTQ+ community has] achieved for us and to hold the line and to celebrate, come together in a space that is safe, that is inclusive and to remember that love is love, and love is a human right and we are all unique in so many different ways,’ Ambassador Beaufils expressed.

The British Embassy and the British Council will be joining the Pride march in Quezon City this Saturday.


Notes to Editor

About the films

Isaac and the Ram (2019), directed by Jason Bradbury. Nightclub bouncer and former skinhead Hank reluctantly offers homeless gay teenager Isaac a place to stay for one unexpected night. The film is from The Uncertain Kingdom anthology, which was launched in 2019 and featured 21 short films about British culture.

Alingasngas ng mga Kuliglig (2021), directed by Vahn Pascual. Forced by his father to become the next albularyo (healer) of their town, a boy secretly despises his conventional boring life until he falls in love with a Tikbalang (an elemental beast).

About the British Embassy Manila

The British Embassy in Philippines maintains and develops relations between the UK and Philippines. We develop the close and substantive bilateral relationship by focusing on important areas of co-operation such as: human rights issues, environment, economic development, disaster planning, international crime and terrorism and maximising commercial opportunities for British business. Britain has major investments in the Philippines concentrated in power, energy, agri-business, transport, water and financial services. The UK is one of the largest foreign investors in the Philippines.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2020–21 we connected with 67 million people directly and with 745 million people overall.