Wednesday, 31 May 2023 05:44 AM Asia/Manila

Celebrating inclusivity, Santa Rosa marches with pride

By: King Garcia

On July 3, 2022, the City of Santa Rosa held its Pride March, highlighting the fight for equality and rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Winners receiving their trophies during the awarding ceremony.

LGBTQIA+ is an inclusive term that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies.

"Rest assured that in the City of Santa Rosa you are safe, protected and respected. Because we are one, you are one with us, you are part of the Santa Rosa Family and we're very very proud of you," Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas said during the event.

The City of Santa Rosa, a progressively inclusive city that has enacted ordinances for vulnerable sectors such as senior citizens and persons with disabilities, has also been in the forefront in the advancement of the LGBTQIA+ community. Testament to this is Ordinance No. 2124, enacted in 2019, which declares the last Saturday of the Month of June of every year as Pride Day in the City of Santa Rosa.

It was also in 2019 when the first Pride March was held in the city.

Mayor Arlene Arcillas and Vice Mayor Arnold Arcillas together with several Sangguniang Panlungsod Members and BM Danzel Fernandez during the celebration of Pride in the city. (Photo by: Monroe Cueto / CIO)

This year, after a two-year absence due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic, the celebration of Pride Month in the city has returned and is now a bigger celebration than it was before.

Led by the newly elected officials of Santa Rosa, the 2022 Pride March is not just a simple walk for equality and rights. This year's celebration is also a showcase of the many talents and creativity of the LGBTQIA+ members in the city.

After an almost three kilometer parade, participants gathered in the City of Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex for the start of the post-parade program and several other activities such as the Bridal Makeup Contest, Fantasy Makeup Contest, Haircut and Color Contest.

Joining Mayor Arlene in the post-parade program were City Vice Mayor Arnold B. Arcillas, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Barangay Officials and 1st district of Laguna Board Member Danzel Fernandez.

Some of the participants posing during the 2022 Pride March. (Photo by: Monroe Cueto & Antonio Alonzo / CIO)

Barangay Pooc won the "Most Fabulous and Colorful Barangay Award" along with the "Best Slogan Award." Barangay Labas had the "Best Mardi Gras Costume," while Barangay Macabling won the Bridal Makeup Contest. Barangay Market Area won in both Fantasy Makeup and Haircut and Color Contests.

During the event there was also a free HIV Test provided by the City Health Office of Santa Rosa for those who wanted to get tested.