Despite the odds caused by the pandemic, the City Government of Vigan in partnership with the Maris Ti Ayat Inc. held the first ever Pride Virtual Grand Fiesta last June 14-30, 2021 wherein various activities were set to celebrate the city’s pride month to further amplify its support to the said community.
The month-long celebration started through the distribution of Abel Facemask and Pride Pins to the City employees last June 14 through the Maris Ti Ayat Inc Officers and members led by Acting President Jay Leonard Roldan.
“This is to promote the observance of health protocols at the same time to advertise our own Abel products and the tourism industry of the city as a whole because they are one of the most affected industry in this trying time,” Maris Ti Ayat Inc. Roldan said.
One of the higlights in the celebration was the distribution of Maris Gift package consist of Relief Goods and Hygiene Kit where over six hundred registered member of the MarTiA Inc. and two hundred Salon and Barber shop employees including those non-residents of Vigan received the said package last June 21-23, 2021.
On the other hand, academic competitions were steered such as Poster-Slogan for public elementary students and Spoken Poetry for high school and college students to break the stigma and discrimination among LGBTQIA+ Community. Each of the participants showcased their talents at home and submitted their entries before June 24, 2021.
Meanwhile, last June 28 and 29, 2021 the thirty seven established Maris Ti Barangays presented their creativity and talents through the Best in Maris Corner and Festival Costume. Each barangay showcased their chosen Philippine Festival while recycled materials were converted into beautiful designs in their Maris corner.
The month-long celebration was culminated through the Pride Virtual Grand Fiesta coinciding announcement of winners of various competitions and virtual parade of Maris ti Barangays were held.
“Despite the pandemic, our colors and preferences did not hinder nor halt our progress. We celebrate Pride Month because of our members and our supportive allies such as the City Government of Vigan led by Mayor Juan Carlo Medina.” Roldan said during his speech.
Hanging of LGBTQIA+ flags and reflection of colorful lights along Calle Crisologo and the City’s landmarks and fund raising activity for ten less fortunate bigueño families were also conducted.
The Maris Ti Ayat Inc. is a Non-Government Organization for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender including those supporters or allies of the LGBTQIA Community in Vigan City. It was founded by the late Swil Ann Baniaga and officially registered in the Security of Exchange Commission last February 2020.