Life and Practice
Joe Henry B. Teñido is a native San Pableño and is currently residing in Los Baños, Laguna to study his degree in Human Ecology in the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Since 2019, Joe Henry has been an active member of different academic and socio-civic organizations in UPLB. He is the former Junior Planner of the Society of Human Settlement Planners and a member of UPLB INFOCUS Multimedia organization, UPLB Career Assistance Program, and UPLB Grange Association. His passion in writing did not fade even if he is now pursuing his major in Community and Environmental Resource Planning. One of his aspirations in life is to incorporate his major and advocacy—which is to promote safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ Community especially in the marginalized and underprivileged areas.
“Bakla. ‘Yan ang una kong role sa isang short film noon. Best actor ako don. Di nila alam di naman ako umaarte. Sa paggawa ko nitong video, napag isip-isip kong mahirap ihiwalay ang sarili mula sa piyesa. Mahirap padaliin ang mga bagay na dapat ay maganda. Kaya siguro kung sa tingin mo mabagal ang takbo ng buhay mo, hinahanda ka ng tadhana sa magandang lugar. Masayang lumubog muli sa paggawa ng mga ganitong klase ng sining. Masayang magkaroon ng mga taong magbibigay ng inspirasyon upang maging mas magaling ka. Samakatuwid, 'yung mga taong kasama ko rito. Maraming beses kong sinasabing bakla lang ako. Na ang pagiging bakla ay nangangailangang magkaroon ng “pero”. Bakla pero matalino. Bakla pero masipag. At bakla pero determinado. Na tila ang bakla ay sobrang negatibo na dapat na susundan mo ng pero. Sobrang iksi ng bokabularyo, bakla na lang ang tinatatak ko sa sarili ko. Sa pag-aakalang ito lang ang nais kong kainin. Shuta. Pati pala 'yung isa. Nadiskubre kong cool ako ng nakikita ko ang sarili ko sa parehas at minsan ay wala. Na pwede sila parehas. Minsan pwedeng sabay. Naging breather from stress ko itong paggawa nito sapagkat napag-isip isip kong ang pagiging artist ay hindi ka isasalba sa pagiging bakla or queer. Hindi ito “pero” para maging mas maayos ka sa bakla dahil bakla ka pero hindi bakla lang. Mahal kita.”
“Gay. That was my first role in a short film before. I was the best actor. They did not know that I was not acting. While I was making this video, I’ve been thinking how difficult it is to separate myself into parts. It’s hard to make things easier when it’s supposed to be beautiful. Maybe the reason why you think that your life is slow-paced, because destiny is preparing you to go to a beautiful place. It’s delightful to be able to do this kind of art again. It’s pleasing to have someone to give you inspiration in order for you to improve. In other words, those people who are with me here. Many time I told myself I’m just gay. That being gay needs to have “but”. Gay but smart. Gay but hardworking. And, gay but determined. It’s like being gay is so negative that you have to follow it with but. The vocabulary is so small, gay is what I imprint myself with. In my presumption that this is what I want. There’s another one. I discovered that I am cool seeing myself as the two and sometimes not. Sometimes they can be simultaneous. This work became my break from stress because I’ve been thinking that being an artist it does not save you from being gay or queer. It’s not the “but” that will make you accept the gay because you’re gay but not just gay. I love you.”
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