In this issue, we are featuring personal stories that reflect the strength, diversity and challenges of the community where Sydney (Jay) Loyola belongs.
Jay Loyola is now a memory. He paved the way for Sydney’s existence.
Gender Identity has nothing to do with the organization I formerly served. My decision to embrace my authentic self goes beyond that. St. Joan of Arc herself had gender issues but fought for her faith. She was once feared by the Church and was never understood because they couldn’t fit her in any boxes. They killed her over it. Joan of Arc never lost her faith- she was scared but wouldn’t apologize for her own existence. My identity is solely a conversation between me and my God. And this is something that doesn’t need to be justified and be apologetic about. So, I take responsibility for my authentic self and my choice of how I want to embrace it.
I don’t need help either spiritually or emotionally. I’m spiritually and emotionally stable. I didn’t change my gender, I am me since I was born, It was just a matter of time to finally able to express my true self.
I was never or have ever claimed that I’m an emissary of Palawan dance, I have not taken any mission or intend to represent Palawan in any way. My art is informed of my personal cultural experience. My childhood in Palawan has instilled a strong imprint of this culture and it is a great inspiration in my creative process. At present, I’m working on another commissioned piece Kan-laon Dancing in the Light that will have a World Premiere in 2021. https://www.kularts-sf.org/kanlaon
Having a roof above our head is a basic human need. One in five transgender people in the United States has been discriminated against when seeking a home, and more than one in ten have been evicted from their homes, because of their gender identity. This is not far from the reality of some members of the LGBTQ community in Palawan, specifically the elderly. A shelter for the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community is a necessity.
Master Philippine Choreographer Sydney (Jay) Loyola has created over 40 Pilipino folkloric dance works and performed in Asia, Europe, and the US. She has significantly contributed to the Bay Area’s multicultural landscape, creating performances at venues such as the Palace of Fine Arts, Cowell Theater, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Pistahan, and the Filipino-American Arts Exposition. Loyola has extensively researched the rituals and traditions of the tribal people of Palawan and has become an adopted Tagbanua in the highlands of Palawan in the Philippines. Loyola is the Founder Emeritus of Palawan Dance Theater. He moved to the US in 2006 and served as Dance Director of LIKHA Philippine Folk Ensemble ’07-08. Her awards include “Young Alumni Achiever in Arts and Humanities” by Holy Trinity College (Puerto Princesa City, PALAWAN) and the nomination for an Isadora Duncan Award for his 2008 collaboration with Rudy Soriano, Kadayawan. She is now the Artistic Director of the American Center of Philippine Arts.
At present, she’s working on another commissioned piece Kan-laon Dancing in the Light that will have a World Premiere in 2021. https://www.kularts-sf.org/kanlaon