Drag queens, LGBTQ+ allies rally behind arrested artist
PuRa Luka needs P72K to leave Manila jail

Drag queens, LGBTQ+ allies rally behind arrested artist

/ 05:48 AM October 06, 2023

Drag queens, LGBTQ+ allies rally behind arrested artist

FOR THE SAKE OF ‘ART’ The drag artist known as Pura Luka Vega had spent one night in jail at the Sta. Cruz station of the Manila Police District when this photo was taken on Thursday. He was arrested on Wednesday afternoon on a complaint filed by the Manila-based Catholic laity group Hijos del Nazareno. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

A group representing the LGBTQ+ community and fellow drag performers denounced the arrest and detention of Pura Luka Vega, the performer who had angered many Catholics and had been declared persona non grata by more than a dozen local governments for his controversial song-and-dance performance of “Ama Namin (Our Father).”

Friends and supporters of the artist, whose real name is Amadeus Fernandez Pagente, have raised P50,000 out of the P72,000 he needed for bail, according to a post on X Thursday by Rod Singh, the creator of the show ‘’Drag Den Philippines’’ where Pagente had appeared.


Pagente, 33, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon at his Sta. Cruz, Manila, residence on a warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 36, where he faces trial for alleged violation of Revised Penal Code provisions penalizing “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows.”


The case in Manila was filed by the Hijos del Nazareno, a laity organization of Black Nazarene devotees.

‘Double standard’

In a video posted online in July that has since gone viral, Pagente rendered a remix version of the “Ama Namin” in Black Nazarene costume, surrounded by a cheering crowd.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, a fellow drag artist known as Manila Luzon assailed Pagente’s arrest as an attack against “the art of drag” in the country.

“Drag is NOT a crime! Swipe to donate for their bail!” wrote Manila Luzon, also a Drag Den producer, referring to Pagente using a plural possessive pronoun.

Reyna Valmores of the LGBTQ+ alliance Bahaghari said Pagente’s predicament showed a kind of “double standard” being applied to performers who tackle religion.

She said straight individuals who had disrespected Jesus Christ didn’t face such level of criticism or punishment for expressing their views.


“We see that this is very much a form of abuse specifically against members of the LGBTQ-plus community. We are no strangers to this,” Valmores said. “Pura Luka Vega reserves the right to freely express themself (sic) and their relationship to faith through art.”

Pagente remained in detention as of press time at the Sta. Cruz station of the Manila Police District.


Negros Occidental town council bans drag queen

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Pura Luka Vega declared persona non grata in Bohol

TAGS: arrest, LGBTQ, Pura Luka Vega

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.