Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pride Night 2016: An Art & Dance Show Collaboration for LGBT & HIV Causes

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Celebrating freedom through mindful artistry, LoveYourself, Inc. taps modern day Filipino visual artists to showcase their craftsmanship at Pride Night 2016 at Pineapple Lab in Makati City in support of the cause to erase the stigma about HIV & AIDS, and uplift the morale of the LGBTQI community.

Opening with free entrance on the eve of Philippine Independence Day (11 June), the Pride Night 2016 features the artworks of Jun-jun Sta. Ana, Leeroy New, Niccolo Cosme, Mars Bugaoan, Derick Vinculado, Tokwa PeƱaflorida, Joshua Galvez, Erka Inciong and other community artists some of them are LoveYourself Volunteers. The exhibit will run until end of the month to further promote relevant information on equality, safety sex practices, and sexual health.

Showcasing his never-before-seen pieces, Cosme said "I am very excited to connect and share my ideas and aspirations during the Pride Night, and to hear different stories as well. Let's exchange energies."

Meanwhile, when asked about what to look forward to on his masterpieces, Vinculado said "They can expect my art to be playful and open to interpretation, innocent and surreal."

It has to be noted that 20% of the proceeds from the sale of the artworks will be used to fund LoveYourself's worthwhile activities to strengthen the cause on HIV awareness and testing. Interested visitors/prospective buyers must only register at to reserve a slot.

LIFELINE by Jabar Esmael
Since the event is part of the festivities for Pride Month this June, LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan expresses gratitude for the artists who joined the fight against the spread of the disease and thrust equality in an innovatively imaginative manner. “It feels great that more and more people in the LGBTQI community take a bolder to step up to advocate for equality and healthy sexual lifestyle.”

By encouraging everyone to be #IAmFreeAndProud, Pagtakhan emphasizes that in defying these societal cancers (i.e., inequality, stereotyping, and stigma), fresher interventions have to be devised, such as this art event, that will break into the consciousness of the people by integrating and contextualizing messages about our common aspirations to win the hearts of more people without being aggressive about it.

In further fostering unity in diversity, LoveYourself also includes a recognition ceremony to acknowledge the hard work for the advocacy of various LGBTQI organizations, Community-Based Organizations, and Social Hygiene Clinics, such as, Ang Ladlad, UP Babaylan Stakeholders/Alliance, Decent Image of South Signal Association (DIOSSA), Association of Transgender People of the Philippines (ATP), Transman Pilipinas, Pinoy FTM, Y-Peer, and Taguig Social Hygiene Clinic.

TREE SPARROW By Anthony Pajares
Moreover, Pride Night 2016 goers will certainly be dazzled and entertained by performances from the experimental dance theatre group Daloy Dance Company, Rak of Aegis actor Philippe Salvador Palmos, Mark Ghosn of Ampalaya Monologues, and other artistic acts lined up for this night of free expression.

"I hope they’d be mesmerized by the message of the song. That they get empowered by merely being there, celebrating with us. Celebrating our Pride," said Palma of his special performance.

A performer from Daloy Dance Company who gracefully demonstrates flexibility and extensions.
Towards midnight, LoveYourself also invites everyone to the Unity Pride Party, where cocktails will be served, while reveling in the music of guest LGBT DJs from the DJ collaborative Panty Monsters.

Pride Night 2016 is a concerted effort of LoveYourself, ISEAN Hivos and Pilipinas Shell with special participation of Pineapple Lab.

LoveYourself, a non-profit and 100% volunteerism group, is the leading organization in promoting HIV testing and awareness in the country. It offers free and confidential HIV testing, counseling, and peer education in its established community centers/clinics -LoveYourself Anglo along Shaw and LoveYourself Uni in Taft-Buendia. Both clinics are open every Wednesdays to Saturdays from 12:00 nn -7:00 p.m., and Sundays at 9:00 a.m.-2:00p.m.

For more details on LoveYourself’s services, individuals may visit the group’s official website at or follow and like its social media channels: Facebook-, Twitter- @loveyourselfph, and Instagram-

Some Featured Artists’ Profiles

Jun-jun Sta. Ana

A visual artist who describes his works as “instinctive” by utilizing everyday objects as tools for expression. In early 2000s, he experimented with digital manipulation, which in 2013 he had an exhibit at the Nova Gallery in Makati City showcasing 125 photographic prints using an iPhone4. Jose Ardivilla of The Standard describes Jun-jun’s photography as the antithesis of the narcissism associated with selfies and the glamour of glitzy landmarks, and instead offers the viewer an introspective journey by highlighting the unwanted and ignored, the blending of the pensive onlooker with the details of the surrounding environment.

Niccolo Cosme

A multi-awarded artist, who is a conceptual photographer advocating for LGBT rights and HIV awareness. Cosme started The Red Whistle campaign in 2011 to raise awareness and understanding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Philippines. He is a recipient of the “Ani ng Dangal” award bestowed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. One of his notable works is the “Project Headshot Clinic” that layers online profile photos of people with marks and motifs that put forth his advocacy. This initiative has caught the attention of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and replicated the campaign in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Macau.

Leeroy New

A young contemporary artist known for creating eccentric and out-of-this-world artwork that challenges the imagination of his spectators. New’s most famous creations include his collaboration with designer Kermit Tesoro for pop star Lady Gaga's muscle dress in her "Marry the Night" music video. He has designed sets and costumes for theater groups like Ballet Philippines and Dulaang UP; participated in Philippine Fashion Week; joined numerous exhibitions abroad like the Singapore Biennale (2008) and the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (2009); and mounted large-scale art installations like his Balete series (2010).

Derrick Vinculado

A product of the illustrious Fine Arts Program of the University of the Philippines, Vinculado’s works transport the viewer into a surreal world filled with archetypal motifs from popular reality, while a sense of darkness and strangeness is conjured at the same time. Motifs from everyday life and from human consciousness such as empty arcades, towers, pyramids, and iconic landmarks are used by the young artist to create images of desolation and “emptiness”. With elements of pop surrealism, Derick’s works evoke strangeness in the familiar.

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