Miriam Quiambao apologizes for her statement about homosexuality; promises to do her best "to be more sensitive"

IMAGE Noel Orsal

This Twitter post of Miriam Quiambao elicited negative reactions from different sectors of the society: “Homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth.”


Simula nang magdesisyon ang Miss Universe organizers na payagan nang sumali ang transgenders sa naturang beauty pageant kasama ng naturally-born women, samu’t saring mga komento na ang naglabasan mula sa iba’t ibang sektor.

Partikular na naging aktibo sa pagbibigay ng kanilang opinyon ukol dito ang LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders) at ang mga dating beauty contestants o titleholders.

Isa sa naging very vocal sa pagbibigay ng kanyang opinyon ay ang Miss Universe 1999 1st runner-up na si Miriam Quiambao.

Hindi pabor si Miriam sa desisyon na ito ng Miss Universe.

Ani Miriam sa kanyang Twitter account, “In my humble opinion, transgenders should not be allowed to join the MissU because it's only for REAL women."

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THE BOTTOM LINE. Pero hindi ang opinyon ni Miriam tungkol sa pagpayag na sumali ang transgenders—'tulad ni Jenna Talackova ng Canada—sa Miss Universe ang lumikha ng malaking ingay kundi ang ilan sa mga naging pahayag niya nang maging guest siya bilang “bottomliner” sa show ni Boy Abunda na Bottom Line noong Sabado, April 28.

Sa naturang episode, ang Ladlad Party List representative na si Bems Benedito ang naging panauhin ni Boy.

Dito ay napag-usapan din ang tungkol sa transgenders, ang mga karapatan nila, at ang pagtanggap sa kanila.

Sa simula ay muling ipinahayag ni Miriam ang kanyang opinyon tungkol sa pagsali ng transgenders sa Miss Universe.

Aniya, “Being a representative of the country for the Miss Universe, I feel that Jenna Talackova, being a transgender, is just from a different category from the contest where I came from.

“I’m not saying that I’m better than he or he’s better than me.

“What I’m just saying is kumbaga sa boxing, merong lightweight, merong featherweight, merong heavyweight.

“Gayundin ang Miss Universe at Mrs. Universe. Merong competition para sa may asawa, merong competition para sa single.

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“Kung gusto ng mga transgender na sumali sa isang Universe competition, gumawa ng separate… ng Transgender Universe competition.”

Tinanong ni Boy ang opinyon ni Miriam tungkol sa sinasabi ng iba, lalo na ang mga Kristiyano, na kasalanan ang maging bakla.

Sagot ni Miriam: “I’m not a pastor and definitely I’m not an expert.

“However, the way I understand it is homosexuality is not the one that makes you a sinner.

“Actually, it’s sexual immorality that makes you a sinner.”

Nang magkaroon ng pagkakataon na tanungin ng bottomliners si Bems, dalawa sa tanong ni Miriam ang binasa ni Boy.

Una: What makes you think you’re a woman?

Sagot ni Bems, “Well, ‘eto ang dikta, Tito Boy, ng aking kaisipan. Gayundin ang aking nararamdaman.

“Mas kabisado ko siguro ang aking pagkatao kesa kay Ms. Quiambao. So sana ibigay niya yung karapatan na yun sa akin. At hindi para siya ang mag-decide para sa akin.”

Pangalawang tanong ni Miriam: Hindi pa ba sila satisfied na may mga transgender pageant na? Bakit gusto pa rin nilang sumali sa Miss Universe?

Sagot ni Bems, “Sa akin namang nakuhang pananaw rito sa ating hanay, at least sa mga transgender na Pinoy sa partidong Ladlad, satisfied na kami, Tito Boy, sa mga beauty pageant na meron kami.

“It’s just that napag-uusapan ngayon yung ginawa ng Miss Universe organization at nagkomento kami na maganda itong ginawa.

“And to update, pati itong Miss Singapore, tinatanggap na rin nila ang mga transgender candidates.”

"GOD NEVER MAKES MISTAKES." Nang magkaroon ng pagkakataon ang bottomliners na magbigay ng kanilang pahayag sa naging interview ni Boy kay Bems, dito ipinahayag ni Miriam ang obserbasyon niyang tila naging defensive si Bems sa una niyang katanungan.

Ayon kay Miriam, “Actually, I had the first question and I felt that he felt, he, she... felt defensive in my first question with what makes you think.

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“Actually, I wanted to ask, what makes you feel you’re a woman? Because I wanna understand where he’s coming from or the heart is coming from.

“Yun, because it’s my way of understanding and to extract what he’s really feeling.

“Well, my bottom line is, God made us all for a purpose. I don’t understand why God made him that way.

“I feel that in my knowledge, God never make mistakes and He’s not a liar. So, however he made Him, that’s he really is.

“However, because God allowed this to happen in his life, perhaps there is a purpose.

“And at the end of the day, he will be the one to face God. We’re not in a position to judge because we’re all sinners, we’re all fallen.

“And I feel that God will be the one to judge him in the end.

"I’m just hoping that whatever purpose God puts him there, he’ll be able to stand face to face with God.”

Hindi naman napigilan ng isa pang bottomliner na si Nini Borja, isang company president, na mag-react sa naging pahayag ni Miriam at magtanong.

Tanong ni Nini, sa naging pahayag ni Miriam “that God never made a mistake,” si Bems ba ay isang “mistake”?

Sagot ni Miriam dito, “God is sovereign and I don’t say I am right or wrong in what I am saying, but I’m basing my belief or what is said in the Bible. “

Sabi naman ni Nini, kung ile-label daw ang isang tao as a "mistake," medyo "out of bounds" na raw yun. So, kung wala raw sa label ang tao na man or woman, is that already a mistake?

Sagot ni Miriam, “Actually, what I am saying is God never makes mistake and He’s not a liar.”

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Pero buwelta naman sa kanya ni Nini: "Sometimes what we interpret as God’s words is not the real word.”

Ayon naman kay Miriam: “Well, it is God’s words. Because God is faithful. And He never makes mistakes. The Bible says so. “

Sabi naman ni Nini: “So, if you’re not a man or a woman, you’re a mistake?”

Miriam: “Well, I never said that. Nobody said that.”

Sa huli, nagpahayag din ng paghanga si Miriam kay Bems.

“Actually, I wanna applaud Bems.

"Because of the many struggles and the discrimination that he experienced, from his childhood until now, I just wanna applaud him for his courage. For standing up to, you know, what he believes in.

“And also in behalf of all the members of LGBT community, labels or no labels, I believe everybody deserves the right to feel empowered, to be accepted and to be loved, and to display and be of purpose to his community.

“And if the purpose for him is to be this, so let it be so.

“God loves all of us and we all deserve to have the space in this world.”

HOMOSEXUALITY. Pagkatapos ng Bottom Line episode noong Sabado ng gabi, kanya-kanya ng opinyon at pahayag ang mga lumabas sa social networking sites na Twitter at Facebook.

Marami sa nagkomento ang nagalit kay Miriam. Marami ang hindi nakaunawa sa kung anuman ang gustong ipahiwatig ni Miriam sa kanyang paniniwala at pananampalataya.

Sa mga nakakabasa ng Twitter account ni Miriam, halos araw-araw ay nagpo-post ito ng Bible verses. Pero biglang naging controversial si Miriam, lalo na sa LGBT community, dahil sa naging Twitter post niya noong madaling-araw ng April 29:

“Homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth.”

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Sinundan pa ito ni Miriam ng iba pang tweets na diretsong tinutukoy ang LGBT:

“LGBT or straight, man or woman, young or old, we all deserve love, respect and acceptance. We all need a savior on Jesus Christ. God loves u.”

“No offense to the LGBT but the TRuth is the Truth that comes from God. Take it or leave it. We will all face the judgement seat of God.”

“Mahal ko ang LGBT. That's why I am sharing with you the truth. If you are not ready for it, please don't shoot me. I am just a messenger.”

Sunud-sunod halos ang pagbanggit kay Miriam sa kanyang Twitter posts at karamihan ay nagpakita ng matinding pagka-disgusto o galit sa mga naging pahayag niya, partikular na sa naging pahayag niya na “homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil.”

Marami ang nagalit, lalo na ang mga gays na tinawag silang “lie from the devil.”

Ilang followers niya ang diretsuhang tinanong si Miriam kung ano raw ang truth.

Ilan sa mga nagtanong ay madiplomasya namang sinagot pa rin ni Miriam, kahit ilan sa mga ito ay nagpakita ng matinding galit at nagbitiw ng masasakit na salita laban sa kanya.

Sinagot ni Miriam sa kanyang Twitter account ang ilan sa nagtanong kung ano raw ang truth: "read the bible yourself so you will know the truth."

Ilan din sa celebrities ang nagbigay ng kanilang personal na opinyon sa naturang isyu.

Ayon sa dating miyembro ng APO Hiking Society na si Jim Paredes: “LGBTs are God's children too. If you think u are loved more cuz ur straight, check your ego.”

Sabi naman ng socialite na si Divine Lee: “I called @miriamq cans she explained that homosexuality becomes a sin when it becomes an idolatry. It's not and alam natin yun. (1) Sabi ni @miriamq na she loves us and she's open to discussion. They way she spoke to me sincere naman. So wag nyo na awayin. Magkaiba Ang(2) Interpretation natin. Idolatry is when u believe something will save you. Hello, Hindi tayo religion but movement so I explained that.”

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Kahapon, April 29, ay muling nag-post ng mensahe si Miriam. Sa pagkakataong ito ay humihingi na ito siya paumanhin:

“I'm sorry LGBT. Perhaps I was too harsh with the words I used. Will do my best to be more sensitive. #respect #nobodysperfect #grace

Base sa reply sa kanyang timeline, may ilang nakaunawa at tinanggap agad ang paghingi ng paumanhin ni Miriam.

Pero meron din na sa kabila ng panghingi niya ng paumanhin ay hindi pa rin humuhupa ang naging galit sa naging pahayag niya.

Nagpadala ng direct message ang PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Miriam sa kanyang Twitter account para makuhanan siya ng karagdagan pang pahayag. Hanggang ngayon ay hinihintay pa rin namin ang kanyang kasagutan.


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