A farm tourism destination in Palawan is raising the concept of gender sensitivity a stripe higher.
For nearly two years now, Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa City’s Barangay Bacungan has introduced a novel way of giving people the facility where they can answer nature’s call regardless of their sexual orientation.
Manned and maintained by elderly women, Yamang Bukid Farm’s comfort room has separate spacious cubicles for girls, boys, gays and lesbians.
The round-shaped building is made of concrete and roofed with indigenous materials. Outside it has two porcelain tubs and faucets for washing hands. Inside each cubicle has a flush toilet and bidet hose for cleaning.
Outside, one can easily see the markings on the top of each of the four white wooden doors. Emblazoned in white against a black background each of the doors are the words: GIRL, BOY, BAKLA and TOMBOY.
One may argue that bakla and tomboy (Filipino slang for gays and lesbians, respectively) are in fact derogatory but for Bobby Arzaga, a Palawan-based vlogger and receptionist for the Farm, the terms are mainly names that describe their sexual label and nothing else.
“I’m not offended because that’s how I want people to see me. I don’t know with other gays if they’re offended, though,” Arzaga said, adding he uses the cubicle labeled for the gays more often than that of the boys.’
A learning site for sustainable and organic-based agriculture, the Farm which is a subsidiary of health and wellness products-maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. , is advocating equality for all, embracing and respecting all guests of whatever gender stripes, according to the toilets’ designer Benjie Monegasque.
“This is a reflection of doing business with a heart. Yamang Bukid welcomes and embraces all gender. The Yamang Bukid brand promotes equality, respect and tolerance,” Monegasque said.