In the Philippines, the concept of "heroism" has always followed stories of bloodshed, cries, and wars, most often reimagined in sepia tones and eerie, creaky film editing. Today, though, we are starting to see more modern heroes dressed as, well, average people. That is, until you feel the crackle of their inner fire and hear their insights and stories altogether seeking to inspire and stir people on a larger scale. They're everywhere—OFWs sacrificing the sight of their families just to make ends meet from afar, human rights activists overlooking their personal commitments just to fight for their people's basic right to live, members of the LGBTQ community conquering their own fears just to front the immemorial battle toward equality and love. To culminate Pride Month, ABS-CBN Lifestyle joins the latter in support of the cause.
[related: In Focus: This Independence Day, These LGBTQ Personalities Redefine What 'Freedom' Means]
In the gallery above, we have gathered some of the youngest local LGBTQ personalities who in their respective fields have helped further equality and inclusivity in the country. We groomed them up to look a little like our age-old heroic icons, as if to heighten the symbolism more: Celebrity photographer BJ Pascual and art director Mike Lavarez as Jose Rizal's Simoun and Crisostomo Ibarra, respectively; DJ Patty Tiu as Melchora "Tandang Sora" Aquino; collegiate volleyball player Ponggay Gaston as Lapu-Lapu; beauty blogger Mikki Galang as Gabriela Silang; neurologist Ryan Roxas as General Antonio Luna; fitness coach Frank Hoban as Marcelo H. Del Pilar; and Girl Nation host Nariese Giangan as Teresa Magbanua.
Free and fierce—yes, we're claiming it, that's how the LGBTQ community will roll from now on!
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Produced by Camille Santiago | Creative direction by Barry Viloria | Photography by Vyn Radovan | Shot by Tin Zabat | Edited by Lui Jimenez | Makeup Patrick lcober, Jinx Agabao, and Maws Diaz of Make Up For Ever | Sam Corbillon of Triple Luck Brow and Nail Salon | Shot on location at City Garden Grand Hotel | Special thanks to Margarette Domingo | Banner image by Lui Jimenez