Departure

On Wednesday night Chad left for Manila.  His leaving didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had hoped.

It was just over a month ago that I booked the flight.  Chad would be leaving Taipei at about 1:30, and arriving in Manila at 3:30 in the afternoon.  I really didn’t give the ticket much thought until this last Wednesday evening when Chad, after a day’s work, decided to confirm the time he’d be flying out the next day.  And then I heard, “Um, is this for 1:30 tomorrow afternoon, or 1:30 tonight?!”

This was a classic “oh shit” moment.  It was a bit frantic, as Chad still had to pack, but luckily all his camera gear was ready.  He took the little mix-up pretty well, but I don’t think he was too pleased to be getting into Manila at 3:30 in the morning.  The good thing is he didn’t miss his flight (phew), and now I will be obsessively double-checking before all future flights to see if they are in 12 hour or 24 hour formats.

While in Manila Chad will be getting a feel for the Malate district.  Chad’s guesthouse is right in the center of the area, about a block away from the parade’s starting point – Remedios Circle.  The parade will be ending in the nearby streets of Maria Orosa St. and Julio Nakpil St., known in the gay community for their lively nightlife.

Over the next few days Chad has plans to meet with some of the figures in the Philippines LGBT community.  This includes Reverend Ceejay Agbayani, the first Filipino clergy of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) ordained in the Philippines, and head of the march’s parade committee.  With luck, Chad will also have a chance to meet with Bruce Amoroto, a Filipino gay activist and current president-coordinator of TEAM PILIPINAS (Philippine Forum on Sports, Culture, Sexuality, and Human Rights.  Stay tuned as write-ups on the march will be starting next week.

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