10th White Party Manila

By Jon Verzosa

Photos by Mark Ian Verzosa


I was in Pampanga when my friend, Stephen Santiago, marketing man for the 10th White Party Manila called me to cover their event.  It was on short notice and I was not ready at all.  To begin with, the event was already cancelled due to rains a couple of weeks back, so there was no way that I should miss it this time.  Second, I was not given prior take in of the event’s second date; as a result, I was in Pampanga covering another story to which there was no way for me to run back to Manila in such an undersized time. And third, Pinoy Pop Biz photographer was on a weekend off.  There was absolutely no way for me to cover a late night affair any longer.


But I did.


I rode a bus and did a cut trip from Guagua to San Fernando, called my brother Mark (who only replies when there’s alcohol drinking involved and so I bribed him that I will have access to drinks) to help me out with the photos.  “But my camera is bulok!” he exclaimed.  I said, “That would do! I need photographs for this!” came down in Caloocan where not-so-kind cabbies gladly take advantage of you, took a smelly cab and CF’d (control freak) the driver to go over the traffic even if it would mean running over street vendors just to make it in Malate at 10 PM.


I arrived and met Mark at 11 PM with almost no patience to overdone make-up, massive hairpieces, shemale parade and bisexualism reeking genially in the fully-packed Orosa corner Nakpil streets of the overly-gay Malate district.  But this is what bumped into us when we arrived at the coveted White Party Manila. The words screamed like a besequined, Swarovski-imbedded drag queen calling out “FREEDOM, EQUALITY, BELONGING, RESPECT, LOVE, and PRIDE!”  The smell of barbeque, tequila, hot asphalt, Elizabeth Arden and rancid sweat draped the nation’s homosexual commune and if it was not Lady Gaga I saw throwing up hours later by the side fence of the stage, I was pretty sure it was Bb Gandanghari, who I was hoping to meet before I got drunk on my martini myself.  She never showed up.


I was expecting to see Solenn Heussaff who allegedly would grace the event but it was Bekimon I saw instead.  You know him, right?  The one who decodes gay lingo all day and publicize it on his Twitter account? He was last seen in the washout movie The Adventures of Pureza.  Whatever, at least there was a semi-icon and apart from the music of DJ Thiago Vinicius and the fabulous Panty Monsters, the red-coloured whistles (necklaced by everyone) that made everyone hearing-impaired the next day substantiated the sound of gayhood far and wide.  Somebody even told me that the party was for AIDS awareness but then again, that may also just be a rumour.  I have to admit that I got a kick out of being in Gay County because it clearly meant that anything can happen in every heartbeat.


The White Party has been going on for ten years now and like guesswork, through the years, asks your psyche subliminally whether you are in fact out there or still ‘here’.  Here being the location of the said party that exalted the colour ‘white’ because as far as my eyes could see it, there were only a few people wearing white.  So I figured when you are in a white party, you must be able to accentuate (not really the colour but) white as a symbol.  If you are out there then you blotch (in Tagalog babuyin) white like a canvass to a painting – spray it with colours from yellow ochre to magenta crimson – with all your might.  And if you are still in ‘here’ then white it all up, be in the bandwagon and start purchasing your pastels the morning after.  Overall, this only means that the Philippines have arrived in terms of homosexual revolution simply because the White Party Manila arrived to express . . . and to ask.


So, what’s next?


But no, hell no, it is not all about cross-dressing although one of the most liberating scenes at the White Party Manila were (actual) straight men dressed up as gothic girls.  Again, it is not all about cross-dressing or coming in dressed ‘fashionably white’ as written in the invitation or even coming out lasciviously over-stated. For me, it is all about celebrating gay pride in different colours, dancing the night (and the heartaches) away and blowing that obtuse and irritating whistle all night long.


It was an ‘all in one’ exhausting, commonplace and blistering celebration




I enjoyed my two hours there and came home beautifully smashed.



*The 10th White Party Manila was produced by New Genesis Events Production and Management.



The White Party Manila in witchy pictures and theirs . . .

























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