Palawan joined the list of localities in the Philippines declaring the drag queen persona non grata.
In a resolution unanimously approved by the Provincial Board, Pura Luka Vega has been declared persona non grata, citing the drag queen’s July 2023 performance in an outfit reminiscent of the Black Nazarene and rapping a remix of the “Ama Namin” prayer.
During the 59th regular session of the provincial council earlier today, Board Member Winston Arzaga claimed that the performance grievously offended the sensibilities of the vast Catholic and Christian population of Palawan.
Arzaga added that the label persona non grata, while not restricting travel from one locality to another, would officially declare the person as “unwanted and unaccepted” in the area.
He clarified that the resolution didn’t criticize the drag queen, but rather his use of the “Ama Namin” prayer in the performance.
“Kung ginawa niya sa isang templo baka acceptable, pero ginawa niya iyon sa isang bar. Kaya naging deplorable kasi ginawa mong parody yung isang prayer na dapat vinivenerate sa loob ng simbahan,” said Arzaga.
The news comes in the wake of the celebration of 400 years of Christianity in Palawan, which took place last August 24–25.
Vega’s performance was also discussed during the press conference held with members of the clergy at Balai Padi, as part of the preparation for the aforementioned culminating activity.
The Apostolic Vicariates of Taytay and Puerto Princesa, along with representatives from the Augustinian Recollects and the city and provincial councils, have also denounced Pura Luka Vega’s performance. However, they agreed that no further undue attention should be given to the performance. The church was more focused on the culminating activity and its own matters, and they believed it could not influence legislation.
When asked about Pura Luka Vega staging persona non grata themed performances in undisclosed locations, Arzaga remained indifferent.
He claimed that the PNG-themed parties were of no concern at all, since it was a bid to attract more attention. “Kung doon naman ay gagawa siya ng concert about sa PNG, karapatan niya iyon kasi labas na yun sa simbahan. Iba naman yung performance niya [sa prayer],” added Arzaga.