There was a distinct sparkle in the eyes of host-actress Badidi Labra when she interviewed drag queen Piayuuh after a performance that had everyone on their feet, cheering and clapping for her rendition of Gloc-9/Ebe Dancel’s “Sirena.”
We fully support them.
QUEST HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CEBU
“She’s actually my niece. I was her mother’s companion when she was still pregnant with Piayuuh,” a proud Badidi told the crowd of “Drag Me To Quest,” a drag show which featured the drag queen as one of the performers.
Badidi’s pride stemmed from memories of the two growing up in Sitio Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe in Cebu City where Badidi used to take care of the young Piayuuh.
When Badidi immersed herself in castings for movies and other acting projects, Piayuuh tagged along as an eager observer and helper.
“When she started exploring her sexuality, she would come to me to borrow some of my stuff or ask me to put on her make-up,” recalled Badidi.
Sharing one stage at the Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu to celebrate Pride Month, Badidi considered the night of June 10th as a poetic continuation of their story as aunt and niece who are proudly waving the rainbow flag as they join the call for gender equality.
Badidi, Piayuuh, and the LGBTQIA+ community in Cebu found the most suitable venue in celebrating Pride Month in a hotel that truly embraces its role as an ally and staunch advocate of celebrating diversity and inclusion.
Quest Cebu General Manager Mia Singson-Leon said the rainbow pins worn by employees and the rainflow flag posted on their social media pages are not just marketing tools used to hop on the “pride bandwagon.”
Singson-Leon said it is the hotel’s contribution to achieve gender equality especially in a workplace where a significant number of its employees are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The hotel fully supports “Q Spectra,” an organization formed by more than 20 employees of Quest Cebu who identify themselves in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.
“Next month, they are going to present their proposal for projects that promote empowerment and wellbeing. We fully support them,” Singson-Leon told CDN Digital.
Quest Cebu’s support of the “Drag Me To Quest” show, a three-hour spectacle held last June 10 that featured Drag Race Philippines’ Minty Fresh and local drag queens, is a testament to the hotel’s commitment to supporting the long-standing call in passing the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill.
The show was organized in partnership with Angat BPO Cebu and sponsored by Philippine Airlines. The event was staged for the benefit of Love Yourself, a community of volunteers that offers free HIV testing, counseling, treatment, and life coaching in the Philippines. In Cebu, the organization runs the community center called Love Yourself White House that is located in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.
Quest Cebu’s Pusô Bistro & Bar transformed into a glittering grandstand as the much anticipated performances of Minty Fresh delighted enthusiastic spectators. She performed two numbers: Madonna’s “Vogue” and Camila Cabello’s “Don’t Go Yet.”
The performances of Maria Lava (House of Lava) and Piayuuh received loud cheers from the crowd who enjoyed the night with unlimited barbecue and cocktails.
The Cebu Divettes came prepared with several presentations that mixed class, grace, wit, and playfulness.
Self-expression comes in many forms and in the world of LGBTQIA+ and its community of allies, drag shows provide a creative channel to combine creativity with advocacy.
Comedic acts that were mostly dominated by the gay contingent used to only happen in bars.
These days, the venues have expanded to malls and hotels. One example of which is the recent Cebu Literary Festival Pride Edition that was organized in partnership with Angat Kabataan which brought in Drag Den PH’s Pura Luka Vega and Naia Black to perform at Crossroads Mall and Ayala Mall Central Bloc, both in Cebu City.
More drag shows are being staged in different parts of Cebu with each one serving as a proof of why the LGBTQIA+ community’s collective voice needs to be heard, acknowledged, and valued.
In the hotel front, it is Quest Hotel and Conference Cebu that has taken up the cudgels to support the endeavors of a community that exemplifies the reason why, amid the noise generated by naysayers and homophobes, every color of the rainbow should be celebrated.