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Manila..."offending religious feelings" here

Carlos Celdran faces 5 years in jail

For several years in The Philippines, advocates of birth control and sex-ed have been working to get a Reproductive Health Bill through the  legislative process of this very Roman Catholic country. CBC's Michael McAulifffe  made a documentary about it in 2008.

The CBC's Tori Allen reports on a recent incident that has put the confrontation back in the headlines and an artist in court. She writes, on Oct 21:  

Carlos Celdran, a performance artist and popular Manila tour guide, is also a very vocal supporter of the controversial Reproductive Health Bill. He really put the bill in the daily headlines and opinion pages a few weeks ago when he staged a protest performance art piece during a meeting of bishops at the Manila Cathedral.

Carlos Celdran (his blog) is a very popular tour guide/performance artist who gives extremely entertaining and informative critical history tours of Old Manila. The Canadian Embassy refers groups and people to him and corporations like Samsung and Louis Vuitton hire him to give tours to employees and guests. He has over 17,000 followers on Facebook and close to 20,000 Twitter followers.

Since the incident Carlos has been denounced and called "a faggot" at a Catholic mass. He's been the subject of many scathing op-eds. But I've also seen complete strangers approaching him for autographs and congratulations and support. Artists have created t-shirts and posters.

But until this morning (Oct 21) he didn't know whether the Church would proceed with a legal case. Now he's been summoned, charged with "offending religious feelings". He has to appear in court on October 28th and his supporters have already organized a rally for the same day. The crime carries a sentence of up to 5 years. 

Coverage of the controversial performance

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