I was alerted to Comic Con Asia some months ago and I found it interesting enough to want to participate. I expressed interest in getting a table and participate in any way I can. 2018, I decided, was the time I became more active in my local comic book projects. The Philippine publishing rights to Elmer had reverted back to me and I have a new book coming out with Kevin Ray Valentino. I planned on having both books printed by the end of this year and I fully intended on participating in more comic book events the following year. So Comic Con Asia came quite fortuitously.
However, Comic Con Asia held a press conference last night and I was disappointed to learn that Manny Pacquiao is one of the people behind the event. I cannot, in good conscience, participate in Comic Con Asia any longer.
Am I making such a big deal over this? So what? Isn't the promotion of comics locally and internationally more important? Comics is very important to me of course, and I want nothing more than to see Philippine comics elevated and celebrated not only here in the Philippines but around the globe.
But I cannot forget the statements made by Manny Pacquiao in the past. He called same sex couples worse than animals. Worse, in a now deleted Instagram post, he posted Bible quotes that preach that gays should be put to death. As someone who believes in equality for all, I find these statements reprehensible and dangerous. Dangerous because Manny Pacquiao is in a position of political power that would enable him to make his personal beliefs a matter of national policy. That is something I cannot abide.
If people have no problem with this, then by all means, attend and participate. I am NOT advocating a boycott. I am simply saying that I will not be going. My decision shouldn't affect anybody or cause anyone to freak out and bring down lightning from the heavens. It's just another event I won't be going to, simply for personal reasons.