Connect with us

Rainbow Team

Co-director, Bahaghari Center
Gender pronouns: she/her/hers

Deaf transpinay Disney Aguila started getting involved in the LGBTQIA community in the Philippines as a member of the Deaf Pink Club in 2010, eventually leading the organization when it became Deaf Rainbow Philippines, and then Pinoy Deaf Rainbow, until 2022. From the very start, her push has always been to mainstream minority voices in the LGBTQIA community, particularly those traversing various identities – e.g. transgender, PWD and, yes, LGBTQIA. As the concurrent head of TransDeaf Philippines, she pushes for a pro-active approach to effecting changes for LGBTQIA Filipinos – e.g. she has been giving SOGIE 101 and HIV 101 lectures to Deaf LGBTQIA and ally communities; and Filipino Sign Language (FSL) lessons that eye to “make our Deaf culture – with the help of promoting our language – better understood.” Certified in community-based HIV screening, she has been a go-to person for Deaf people who want to get tested, or are in need of help re HIV.
“The LGBT community inspires me because of its constant push for equal rights for all,” Disney says. “It is our community that highlights the need to value a person for who he/she/they truly is/are.”

Co-director, Bahaghari Center
Gender pronouns: they/them

Aaron Bonete, who identifies as a non-binary person, started engaging in the LGBTQIA advocacy in college, when – after noting the absence of LGBTQIA inclusion in Lucena City -they established EU Bahaghari in Enverga University. The goal, they said then, was always to elevate the issues of those at the fringes of society, particularly those who continue to be minorities even if they already belonged to minority groups – i.e. in this case, young LGBTQIA people who live outside metropolitan parts of the Philippines.
Aaron eventually helped organize other LGBTQIA community-based organizations in other parts of Luzon, continuing to believe that “it is when we work together that we are strongest.”
Aaron’s other fields of expertise include: journalism and photojournalism, working as the Managing Editor of Outrage Magazine; graphics and lay-out; and PR and marketing. He has similarly been developing modules and giving lectures on SOGIESC 101 and HIV 101.
“Inclusion,” says Aaron, “should always be the goal.”

Project Officer, Bahaghari Center
Gender pronouns: he/him/his

A graduate of Bachelor in Applied Deaf Studies–Computer Graphics Track from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, MJ Ceñidoza has worked in corporate and NGO settings. It is, he says, with the latter where “the impact is more felt since effecting changes means bettering people’s lives; and this has always been advocacy’s intent.”
MJ believes in pushing for trans rights, particularly the interconnected issues of trans people – e.g. he may identify as a trans man, but he still faces women’s issues (such as reproductive concerns). And yet, he says, this continues not to be well-discussed, and “can be detrimental to us all.”
Being Deaf is another layer for MJ, as “this adds more concerns that current services continue to fail.”
These, then, continue to be his focus in advocacy, “pushing for intersectional issues to be at the core of services we offer. This is the only way to true inclusion,” MJ stresses.

Gender pronouns: they/them

A graduate of B.S. in Architecture from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, the group of islands in southern Philippines, Stephen Christian Quilacio joined the HIV – and eventually, LGBTQIA – advocacy in 2012, when they co-founded the very first support group for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Northern Mindanao. It was – Seven stressed – a much-needed effort, considering that particularly outside of metropolitan areas, those who are also affected by HIV are often ignored/neglected.
By 2015, Seven established LIMA, a community theater company, that predominantly showcased Lima that consisted of monologues from and about PLHIVs, their loved ones, and those affected by HIV. Concept development was done with Outrage Magazine, with initial support from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP). This morphed into Red Lives, a collation of HIV-related stories curated into monologues that are staged in various contexts all over the Philippines “to give HIV a human face,” says Seven, “because behind numbers of HIV infections that we hear of, there are lives involved, and we need to highlight these lives.”
Seven lived in Metro Manila for a while… but then moved back to CDO where, they said, a lot of work still needs to be done, particularly in making holistic treatment accessible to Mindanaoan PLHIVs. Also a yoga teacher, Seven is also Outrage Magazine‘s Mindanao correspondent. As a person living with HIV, they continue to provide much-needed insights on HIV, particularly how this affects those at the fringes of society.
“Mainstreaming the issues of those at the fringes should be a given. But because it’s not, then we push,” Seven says.

Gender pronouns: he/him/his

The involvement of Cube Mangampo with the LGBTQIA community is linked with his exposure as an ally to the work of the other members of the Board of Directors, as well as with the staff of Outrage Magazine. He notes how being LGBTQIA continues to be challenging; though he also believes that to push for LGBTQIA human rights, ally communities need to be engaged.
With Bahaghari Center, Cube helps in developing/running programs for ally communities (e.g. SOGIESC training for non-LGBTQI people), as well as partnership forming.

Ex Officio Members

Michael David C. Tan, a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, is the founder and current publisher/Editor in Chief of Outrage Magazine, the only LGBTQIA publication in the Philippines that was established in 2007.
Mick – who can photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write, shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture and conduct researches (with pioneering studies under his belt) – is the writer/author of Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report; journalistic stylebook for media coverage on the Philippines’ LGBTQI community; #PreventionNOTCondemnation, which looked at HIV-related efforts of member churches of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP); and Red Lives, a collection of HIV-related stories, published by Bahaghari Center.
Conversant in Filipino Sign Language (FSL), he received the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism; IREX fellowship in 2014; and the “Art that Matters for Literature” award from Amnesty International-Philippines in 2020.
GENDER PRONOUN: he/him/his

A registered nurse, John Ryan N. Mendoza hailed from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao. He first moved to Metro Manila in 2010 (supposedly just to finish a health social science degree), but fell in love not necessarily with the (err, smoggy) place, but it’s hustle and bustle. He now divides his time in Mindanao (where he still serves under-represented Indigenous Peoples, among others), and elsewhere (Metro Manila included, as well as in Uppsala in Sweden, where he has another base) to help push for equal rights for LGBTQIA Filipinos and other marginalized sectors.
Helping manage the running of Outrage Magazine, Rye also conducts researches (e.g. Golden Agora, which looked at the experiences of senior gay men and transgender women in the Philippines; and #PreventionNOTCondemnation).
Rye conducts trainings/workshops on LGBTQI issues and on HIV, is a prolific writer, and is a “lifelong student of life” (that is, he’s always open to learning new stuff – e.g. filmmaking, website development).
GENDER PRONOUN: he/him/his

A media man through-and-through, Patrick King Pascual writes (for print) and produces (for a credible show of a local giant network).
On occasion, he goes behind the camera for Pride-worthy efforts (such as Bahaghari Center’s I Dare to Care campaign).
He is concurrently the senior associate editor of Outrage Magazine (and its resident party person).
GENDER PRONOUN: he/him/his

Albert Tan Magallanes, Jr. was first exposed to the LGBTQIA community through “clans” (i.e. informal organizations of men who have sex with men or MSM) in Las Piñas, where he helped helm the Las Piñas chapter of the Taguig Peppers Society. It was with this community-based organization that he said he noted the disparity of the services offered to those who have access to mainstream services in metropolitan areas, and those like them who are still at the fringes even of the LGBTQIA community. It is this, too, that he wants to help remedy by developing/implementing programs that could hep mainstream people like them.
GENDER PRONOUN: he/him/his