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Benilde to offer free online crash course on Filipino sign language

Monday, May 25, 2020



As city lockdowns force people to self-quarantine, everyone is searching for ways to be productive — luckily, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde has a solution. Earlier this week, the college announced that it will hold a crash course on basic Filipino sign language (FSL).

The initiative entitled #SignForSigns is not only for those who want to expand their knowledge and master new skills during self-quarantine but also for those who want to help.

In a Facebook post, the college announced that the online class will start on May 30 and will be live on Benilde’s School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies Facebook Page.



“The FSL lessons are for free, but participants are encouraged to donate to the #SignForSigns Fundraising Campaign,” the post stated. “A minimum contribution of P350 will give you access to an FSL Learning Kit, which you can use to continue learning sign language at home.”

The proceeds of the campaign will be used to help deaf students and faculty who are on a “no work, no pay” scheme, Benilde said.

For more information you can check Benilde’s Facebook Page. And for direct donation, click here


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Online exhibit by UP alumni, portrait artists raises funds and honors frontliners

Sunday, May 24, 2020


From one online exhibit to another, the local art community is definitely doing its share of helping the frontliners and vulnerable communities amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Filipino Portrait Artists Guild (FilPAG), in partnership with the UP Alumni Association, recently launched “HANDOG LINGKOD,” an online fund-raising event curated by award-winning artist Grandier Bella to support our medical frontliners affected by the virus.


“The online exhibit is FilPAG’s way of expressing gratitude to the sacrifices of our frontliners by giving back, in the only way we know – by creating the best work we can do about our collective experiences with them during this crisis.” FilPAG secretary Grandier Bella expressed in an interview with Metroscene Mag.



As of writing, there are twenty-four artworks on display by local artists. The artworks depicts frontliners in various sectors such as medical, health, security, transportation, and common folks from all walks of life who are out there in the name of service and acts of kindness to our countrymen.




“Through our creative talents, this is the least we can do in honoring the men and women who have pledged their sworn duty to serve our community in these trying times,” Bella said.

“The members had their fair share of challenges to actually take reference photos and compose their works amidst the threat of getting infected. But it was worth all the effort, as they were able to create great artworks despite the challenging conditions we are all experiencing during this pandemic," he added.

According to Bella, 90% of the proceeds will be donated to affected frontliners, in coordination with the UP Alumni Association. The event was launched on May 15, 2020, and will run until May 31.

To see the exhibit, go here. For purchase inquiry, click here.



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FEU Visual Comm's MULAT exhibit is a haven of arts and awareness

Saturday, May 23, 2020



What better way of showcasing art and tackling the nation's struggles in a pandemic than creating an exhibit online?

A new Facebook page paves its way to a fresher and more dynamic way of telling a story and discussing the pressing issues of today.

MULAT 2.0, is a visual arts page that was turned into life to present the projects and talents of Far Eastern University's (FEU) visual communication students. It is the second installment of a physical exhibit with the same name.



In an interview, Herwin Cabasal, MULAT adviser, told the MetrosceneMag:

"The theme of MULAT 2.0 - Visual Communication Exhibit for this season is 'Visual Expressions of Quarantine.' The objective of this edition is to express and present visuals that deal with the Enhanced Community Quarantine mandated to us by the government. Since we believe that this pandemic is already part of the Philippine history, visual communication students aim to chronicle the current situations and events that we see and observe during this quarantine. We do this by producing visual media such as print ads, photo essays, movie posters, and short films that adhere to the said theme."



"But there’s a twist to add some flavor. Since communication students of FEU are truly creative people, their media productions in whatever forms must be inspired by various art movements that they have learned from the said subject. From Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Magic Realism, all the way to Symbolism, Social Realism, and Pop Art, among others, students can choose which art movement can serve as an inspiration for their media productions to visually express and present stories about life under quarantine. At the same time, these outputs can also serve as both advocacy and protest of the students regarding different social issues exposed by this pandemic," Cabasal added.


So far, the page is earning very good responses from the netizens, showing their awe and support through shares and reactions, and effectively engaging in discussions in the comment section.

"From there, we believe that we are already achieving our objective in MULAT, which is to serve as a platform for discourse and discussion about what matters in our society," he expressed when asked on what their objective for the page was. With the exhibit's main inspiration from a discussion in class about Aldous Huxley, 'The Art of Seeing' author, that said "the more you know, the more you see", they believe that this quote sums up what visual communication is all about.




MetrosceneMag asked what the page's inspirations and goals are.

"This is basically the reason why it gave birth to an idea of advocating 'visual literacy.' That is primarily our inspiration and goal on this page. Here in MULAT, we encourage our viewers to read visuals with critical thinking. It is not enough that we just merely appreciate the aesthetics, but to perceive what it is really trying to convey. Most of the time, we have to see these artworks outside the frame. It is by seeing outside the frame that we become critical and responsive to the diverse issues of society," he answered.

Living up to its name, most especially in a crucial time like this, MULAT will always have its eye open and will never be blind. As Cabasal emphasized, "here in FEU Department of Communication, students utilize their knowledge, talents, and skills for the greater good of this nation. That is why in everything we do in this field, we adhere to this mantra: 'may alam, may pakialam.'"

The online virtual exhibit can be visited thru their Facebook Page. It will run from April 26 to May 26, 2020.

Text by: Kyle Cadavez 


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Here's an update on #MassTestingNowPH

Thursday, May 21, 2020






















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#StarveTheTrolls: This site helps you block internet trolls easily

Wednesday, May 20, 2020



Many of us have internet access, yet few of us choose to troll. Just plain nasty. Imagine how tired we are? These little social media rats will not only tarnish your brand or reputation, but some also harass people in a traumatizing way. 

The darker side of it, in the Philippines, a paid online ‘troll’ can earn P30,000-P70,000 monthly. Imagine that? 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to #StarveTheTrolls.

How to spot an online troll?


Troll accounts are more likely new and focuses only on  few threads and post irrelevant content, and  have much lower writing quality than authentic users which isn't much of a surprise.

Luckily, a twitter user created a web app designed to help Twitter users avoid harassment and abuse by trolls, fake accounts and bots.



START BLOCKING HERE 



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Fighting the COVID-19 is no excuse for the government to ignore transparency

Metroscene Mag



In times like these, transparency matters more than ever. At the start of the COVID-19 dilemma, President Rodrigo Duterte assured that the government "will never hide anything" from the public — yet a crisis of transparency is brewing. 


The COVID-19 pandemic demands swift action but fighting the COVID-19 is no excuse for the government to ignore transparency. With that, Filipinos are now urging the government to be transparent in providing information on the outbreak. 





Transparency builds trust


As the country answers to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital to make the decision and policy-making public. Without transparency, fake news and conspiracy are set to spark along with the virus, infecting communities with nothing but misinformation. 


Vice President Leni Robredo once stressed the importance of transparency to dismiss speculations such as alleged "underreporting" of the number of COVID-19 cases.


"Iyong transparency, nakakataas ng tiwala ng tao sa pamahalaan, so sana...sana maging very transparent. Sana walang pagduda iyong taumbayan na mayroong mga information na hindi 'sinisiwalat," she said in her radio show on Sunday, March 8.


Even though #LuzonLockdown is being implemented in the country, public servants should still be agile and communicative to ensure open access to urgent discussions. Right decisions require useful information, and it is neither right nor fit for democracy to hide or exclude the public from health-related decisions or deliberations.







Transparency is a responsibility



The right to information is a matter of life and death during the COVID-19 crisis. The actual number of cases and fatality should be disclosed in public in order to determine the real state of the country. It is a responsibility our leaders should remember. Yet with the continuous spread of the virus, it seems like the country is being shrouded by secrecy. 


The Department of Health (DOH) recently faced the allegations of hiding the actual number of COVID-19 mortality in the country. It happened after renowned GMA newscaster Arnold Clavio posted on Instagram pertaining to a hospital in Metro Manila that was allegedly instructed to stop counting deaths of patients due to COVID-19. DOH has then denied the statement. 


"Maging tapat para 'di kumalat. Naghihintay kami, [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque. Ano ang totoong Sitwasyon sa Pilipinas?" Clavio said in his post.


While the spike in COVID-19 cases nationwide show no signs of stopping any time soon, there is no need for the people to be kept in the dark. The government needs to get rid of secrecies for it is their responsibility.


The rallying cry of these difficult times is truth and credibility. We agree, and that includes keeping everyone in the loop when it comes to decisions that could cause long-lasting damage to our country after the crisis has passed.


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This online exhibit is serving as a voice for the marginalized Filipinos

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

ISCOVIS: Iskolarian COVID-19 Visual Online Exhibit - metroscene mag


Quarantine the artists, but never the art.


The covid-19 pandemic stirred the world into panic. But above the chaos, artists have found ways to transform their creative energies into a calling. While the administration remains turtle-paced on recovering the nation, art served as a voice for the vulnerable, in volumes loud enough for the world to hear.


Earlier this month, artists from Polytechnic University of the Philippines launched the online exhibit entitled: “ISCOVIS: Iskolarian COVID-19 Visual Online Exhibit,” with the goal of keeping Filipinos connected, inspired and awake during these stressful times.


The online exhibit showcases artworks from twenty-five different artists of Concerned Artists of the Philippines -PUP Chapter and Molave Theatre Guild (MTG).



ISCOVIS: Iskolarian COVID-19 Visual Online Exhibit - metroscene mag

“There had been many artists who had been encouraging people to search and to explore on their creative outlet especially this lockdown and I think somewhat the idea came from that. But what is beautiful is that when our works come together it is more than celebrating the art but also awakening the people.” said Allen Pagdanganan, one of the organizers.


Literary works such as short stories, poems, essays are also part of the online exhibit. Online performances of spoken poetry and songs are also expected.


“Just really a blessing to have these set of talented artists and making unexpected harmony from these artists’ coming together.”



ISCOVIS: Iskolarian COVID-19 Visual Online Exhibit - metroscene mag

According to Pagdanganan, the exhibit will end on June 5, 2020, so the exhibit will be available for a good 3 weeks. But before that ends, they hope to express their gratitude towards the frontliners, and touch everyone’s life.


“We want to show the government that we should not be scared of them but rather for them to be scared of the people who voted for them,” Pagdanganan said “these artists, the people, the Filipinos, will never be silenced, they can quarantine the artists but never the art.”

Visit the exhibit here.


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PH a province of China? No, never

Friday, May 15, 2020


#AtinAngPinas


 It all started when China started to claim the West Philippine Sea. The Government has been quiet about it lately but the Chinese government is now busy establishing its foothold on our islands in the West Philippine Sea.


A couple of months ago, President Rodrigo Duterte jokingly suggested to China that it make the Philippines as a province.


"Kung gusto 'nyo, gawin 'nyo na lang kaming province, parang Fujian ," He said during the anniversary of the Chinese Business Club.




Before that, Red tarpaulin banners with the words, "Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China" already mysteriously appeared on footbridges across Manila.



Last week, a government owned radio station, Radyo Pilipinas aired ‘Wow China,’ a cross cultural segment that promotes chinese culture and traditions in the country.


And now, netizens noticed that social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram now include "Philippines, Province of China" as an option for location check-ins.

These options become available only through Geotagging. In case you're not familiar with it, Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as a geotagged photograph or video, websites, SMS messages, QR Codes or RSS feeds and is a form of geospatial metadata.

Our opinion about the Philippines becoming a province of China? — It's offensive. It is an insult to our sovereignty and fallen heroes who fought for our country against time. The Philippines, our country, is not and will never be a province of China.


Here’s how to help remove “Philippines, Province of China” as a location here in Facebook:

1. Go to Create Post
2. Click Check In
3. Type “Philippines, Province of China”
4. Long press the location, then click “inappropriate content or not a public place”


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Filipino Artists Are Supporting Frontliners With #addtokARTproject

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

 Filipino Artists Are Supporting Frontliners With #addtokARTproject - metroscene mag


Who said artists can't join the fight against Covid-19?


With the current rise of Covid-19 cases in the country, we’ve already seen celebrities and athletes come up with their own  Covid-19 relief efforts. Now, Filipino young artists are also stepping up to provide assistance through the “add to kART project.”

Twenty-five artists from the Polytechnic University of The Philippines (PUP), Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP), International Institute of Human Capital (IIHC) , Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), University of the Philippines (UP), Our Lady Of Fatima University (OLFU) and Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation (MSEUF) decided to accept commissioned artworks in exchange for cash donations to purchase face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontliner attending to COVID-19 patients.


Jerico Garcia, one of the organizers, said that the initiative started from a simple “ayaan” in their school organization. The young artists decided to launch the “add to kART project” in collaboration with artists from other universities to help raise funds that could help lessen the burdens of COVID19 crisis.


“We want to make a move on how to contribute to our community, to our frontliners, the one fighting this pandemic. So we came up with this idea to use Art as a medium to help.” Jerico said in an interview with Metroscene.





Last May 3, 2020, the “add to kART project” was concluded with 149 art commissions. Overall, they raised P32,877 that was used to buy PPE Suits, Surgical Glove, Surgical Mask and Antibacterial Soap. 6 Hospitals around Rizal became the beneficiaries of the project.



The Donation Drive might have already ended, but the group is still accepting in kind donations until May 15, 2020 through the following payment options/modes:

GCASH
Stephanie Anne Ramirez
09055521403

BPI
Roxanne Villanueva
3129-1794-13

PAYMAYA
Joyce Ann Veranga
09661690366

BDO
Amparo Villanueva
008180042729

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Sinas apologizes over birthday party but claims viral photos 'old' and 'edited'

Do they really think we're that stupid?


Apparently, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now under fire because of a birthday party-- this might sound crazy, but it's true!


The NCR Police Chief Debold Sinas was spotted hosting his birthday party with his men, complete with rose giving ceremony and all that. But based on the photos circulating online it looks like social distancing and face masks left the party early.


PNP chief Archie Gamboa even defended the event saying that he doesn’t see anything wrong with it. wut? 

In a statement, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas explained that he did not intend to disobey any existing protocols related to the enhanced community quarantine, which was implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.

"I apologize for what transpired during my birthday that caused anxiety to the public," he said.

He said some of the photos that had been circulating online were "edited and grabbed from old posts."

"The pictures may depict itself, however it does not define the totality of what really had happened," he said.


 As of writing, the PNP has recorded 164 COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths and 52 recoveries. There are also 595 "probable" and 389 "suspect" COVID-19 cases in the police force.



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Ginebra San Miguel Reimagines Its Iconic Label to Celebrate Frontliners

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ginebra San Miguel’s Reimagines Its Iconic Label to Celebrate Frontliners - metroscene mag

Cheers to our frontliners!


As challenging as our current situation has been, it’s undeniable that we are kept out of harm’s way—able to work and be with our loved ones—because our frontliners answered the call to fight this pandemic.

Some local brands have shown their support for our frontliners through their products. Just look how Ginebra San Miguel Reimagines Its Label to support our frontliner.




The original label used the artwork of the National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, which depicts Saint Michael the Archangel slaying a demon. The iconic label has become a symbol of hard work and perseverance recognized by every Filipinos for more than 185 years of inuman.

“In this pandemic, brands must become relevant. Now that the world is at a standstill, our frontliners are the ones who keep things moving. Their selfless efforts coupled with their ‘Tunay na Tapang’ serve as inspiration to us here at Ginebra San Miguel and to Filipinos all over the world as we continue to serve our fellow countrymen with the brand as a platform,” said Ron Molina, Marketing Manager of Ginebra San Miguel, Inc.

“By making them the symbol of resiliency, it’s our way of showing that we believe in these frontliners; we want them to come out triumphant over this widespread disease,” he added.
 


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The Metro Manila Pride and Festival is going virtual this year

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Metro Manila Pride and Festival is going virtual this year - metroscene  mag


Social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnection. 


The organisers of the Metro Manila Pride and Festival have made the decision to cancel this summer's event due to the Coronavirus crisis.

"Whether on the streets or in our homes, Pride must live on in each of us and in our solidarity within and outside the LGBTQI+ sector." the organization posted on their Facebook page.

There’s no concrete plan yet on what will happen on June but the Parade organizers are already doing their best co come up with the best virtual pride parade the Philippines will ever experience.

“We may not fill the streets but we will still be as loud and as proud in as many digital channels as possible.”

The organization invite everyone to tune in to their social media pages and their website in the next few weeks the announcement of the online events and activities.



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A state-owned radio station is airing a "Wow China" segment and Filipinos are not having it

A state-owned radio station is airing a "Wow China" segment and Filipinos are not having it -metroscene mag

Wow who? What?

The government-owned Radyo Pilipinas is now under fire on social media after a video of its segment “Wow China” surfaced on the internet.


According to its facebook page, WOW CHINA! is a cultural-feature program that mainly focuses on China’s and Philippines’ tradition, culture and history and its differences and similarities. The government owned AM radio station has been airing the “collaborative program”  since September last year.  Yep! as a government owned station, Taxpayers pay for it too.





With the current issues of the country with China, the radio program rubbed Pinoy netizens the wrong way. Here are some of their reactions.









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Turn Yourself Into a Filipina Heroine Using This App

Turn Yourself Into a Filipina Heroine Using This App - Metroscene Mag

Bring out your inner Gabriela Silang!


For sure you’ve heard or read stories about bad-ass Filipina heroines from books and films. But, wouldn't it be fun to see yourself as one of them?

Luckily, a local Filipina artist behind the username @alamangoes on twitter created an avatar creator site that allows you to make your Filipiniana-Wearing Heroine!







With the avatar maker, you can dress your own Filipina Heroine with different fashionable Filipinianas. But not only that, you can also give your avatar her own abaniko and kampilan— and most especially, your avatar can hold the LGBTQ+ and Trans Flags! A sign board is also available for your personal advocacies!


“I do have an update planned so I can add some barong designs; not entirely sure when it will be due to my acads + commissions schedule But it will happen!” Said @alamangoes on her curious cat account.

@alamangoes also accepts art commissions for #ArtForMedPH!



Let’s support our local artists!



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National Artist Virgilio Almario Has Been Writing Poems Every Day Since March 22

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Virgilio Almario - Metroscene Mag

Respected poet, literary critic, and writer, Virgilio S. Almario, also known by his pen name Rio Alma, has been writing poems every day since March 22.

According to Esquire PH, the National Artist for Literature has been publishing new poems everyday online and plans to write until the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is lifted. That means we will be having new poems till May 15-unless it gets extended, again. 

 As of this writing, Almario has composed and published 42 poems since March 22.




His latest work, titled Maskara explains how we all wear masks that disguise our true selves. It's a metaphorical take on the facade we carry in front of people and how we mask certain emotions and desires.


Another poem, titled May Paminsan-Minsang Ulan Sa Tag-Aráw (There is Some Rain in the Dry Season) talks about the unseen acts of heroism in this trying times.


You can read more of his recent works on his Facebook page.


Apart from his new poems, Almario's works include the children's story "Ibong Adarna," and Filipino translations of Jose Rizal's "Noli Me Tangere" and "El filibusterismo." He was conferred the rank of national artist in 2003 by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.




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There’s now an actual snake named after Harry Potter’s Salazar Slytherin

Thursday, April 23, 2020





A team of researchers from India, discovered a new species of green pit vipers and it looks like they have been reading Harry Potter. 


The Potterheads... I mean... researchers have decided to name the snake after the one and only Salazar Slytherin. 
In their research published in Zoosystematics and Evolution, the team suggests the snake should be commonly known as “Trimeresurus salazar” or  Salazar's pit viper.

Photo source: CNN

Who is Salazar Slytherin?


Well, in n JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, Slytherin was one of the founders of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Other founders included Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff.
The Trumeresurus are heavily venomous and can be found throughout East and Southeast Asia. And with the snake’s green and orange scale, it looks like it's straight out of the Slytherin emblem TBH.


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Show Your Support Through Facebook’s New Care React

Monday, April 20, 2020


As a response to the ongoing fight against COVID-19, Facebook is rolling out a brand new reaction for their site. In a time where we feel isolated and afraid, the social media giant is providing a way for us to show support to compassionate posts. 

The ‘care’ reaction is an adorable emoji hugging a heart that can be accessed alongside the other like button reactions. Facebook says that they hope this helps people to feel more connected with their loved ones during the pandemic. 




Facebook's new 'Care' reaction lets you show love to friends and ...

Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, told USA Today that the idea of a hug reaction was one of the emotions or feelings missing in their current roster or reactions. She said that during this crisis, people need more compassion and support. 

Additionally, Facebook Messenger will also be getting a new reaction button. While Messenger already has a non-animated heart reaction, users will be able to switch to a new beating heart reaction by holding down the default one.



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Juan Miguel Severo is Developing a Pinoy Boys’ Love (BL) Series

Juan Miguel Severo is Developing a Pinoy Boys’ Love (BL) Series.- Metroscene Mag

Thai dramas, especially Boys Love (BL) dramas have found their place in the heart of Filipinos, and it's making an eye-opening impact on its growing audience. If you're not yet familiar with Boys Love (BL) dramas, then here's what you should know, Boys' Love is a genre in fiction that's becoming more mainstream and features a romantic male-male narrative.

For sure, you have already watched the story of "Sarawat" and "Tine," the main characters of "2gether: The Series" and absolutely fell in love. But hold onto your BL hearts because we're about to get a Filipino BL story, courtesy of Juan Miguel Severo. 

Juan Miguel Severo is Developing a Pinoy Boys’ Love (BL) Series.- Metroscene Mag


The spoken word artist and actor revealed on Facebook that his pitch for a BL show had been finally approved. 

He said, "At the height of the success of 2gether The Series and other Asian Boys Love the content, I pitched my pilot of my own BL series to a studio in hopes of getting it greenlit so that we, too, can have more gay stories told by gay people. And guys, we got it. Gaya sa Pelikula (Like in the Movies) will soon be a reality."



For years, gay roles have always been given to heterosexual actors, and it’s becoming a problem in the LGBTQ+ community. Straight actors playing gay characters are fine – but who can play a gay role better than a gay actor? Thank God for Juan Miguel Severo, this issue has been addressed. On Twitter, Severo shared that for his upcoming series, he advocates that the primary artistic team and the cast of the series be actual members of the LGBTQ+ community.



You can read the first half of Juan Miguel Severo’s story here.

Thank God for Juan Miguel Severo!



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