Ralz San Pedro takes PRIDE in being a Dabawenya and a Transgender
Feature ⬝ Real Jhon Castillon
"Pride is a memorial – a unique celebration and a remarkable reminder of a fight that will never end because equality is just an idea, a privilege, a dream."
If there’s one thing that people love about her, it’s definitely her bona fide personality on and off the camera. For the Ateneo de Davao University community back in her college days, she’s one of the most admired and in-demand hosts for events. Now, she’s one of Internet’s favorite local content creators. Or suffice to say, both.
You might have known her for her makeup tutorial videos almost reminiscent of other Filipino content creators doing such as well — giving unsolicited advice whilst putting on a foundation or cracking jokes in between then cue in a cheesy “hugot” line later on. Though her makeup tutorial videos are nothing short of funny and yes, essential, it was her parody covers of famous Disney songs and mimic videos of Airline or LRT announcements that had gone viral — earning her a huge following on social media.
For those who have met her in person, it’s true that her online persona is somehow a replica of her real-life persona. This might be one of the reasons why she has immediately built a loyal and supportive fanbase not just in Davao but also in some parts of the country.
With a combined 20,000 followers and more across all her social media accounts, it is no doubt that Ralz San Pedro aka “Dabawenyang Transginger” is slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Hers and the presence of other trans content creators online not only proves how far we’ve come as a society but rather a testament that you can be who you want to be without compromising your true identity.
But more than being a proud Dabawenya and a Transgender lies an honest, straightforward and hardworking woman. Just like most of the members of the LGBTQ+ community, she too must also work twice as hard to get to where she is right now. And by how things are playing out, her hard work is slowly paying off thus far.
In this special feature with The Middle Mag PH, Ralz shares with us her takes on peer pressure, #PRIDE, dealing with bigotry and transphobia and more.
Who is Ralz San Pedro aka “Dabawenyang Transginger”?
Dabawenyang Transginger is a comic extension of Ralz San Pedro (me lol), filled with song parodies, random voice-overs, spontaneous tutorials, virtual talk shows and nothing, but intentionally lighthearted, feel-good content. My Facebook page is a culmination of the creativity and inspiration welled up through the years that I could not express in my everyday personal life. It's a creative attempt to represent two minorities: trans women and Davaoeños.
What’s keeping you busy in these unprecedented times?
I'm so blessed (and grateful) to be able to work from home full-time for an Australia-based company that I truly love and adore. And of course, I've been busy with a new "talk show" segment that my long-time co-host (Adrian Madroñero) and I have launched recently on my page called "CHAR!: Chikahan with Adrian and Ralz." (Pilot Episode here)
How do you deal with people putting so much pressure on people like you, with a lot of followers, to speak up on pressing issues?
I never dealt with it because I never considered my platform as "big" as most social influencers or creators have. And if I had the considerable amount of following to be pressured to speak up, I wouldn't speak about things that I'm not totally informed about. I'd be careful to choose which issues I'd use my platform to shed light upon as I don't want to add to the "noise" or the uncertainties of the people who are involved or who care most about those issues.
This is just a personal opinion and I know some might not agree but our "voice" isn't wanted or needed for every situation. There's a time to be silent and lend our ears and a time for us to speak up and be heard.
Personally, most times, I'd choose to do my part in sending happy hormones to my followers, rather than looping them into issues that I don't completely understand myself and defeating the purpose of why they liked my page in the first place.
How do you respond to bigotry or transphobia?
Most times, I don't deal with these attacks or types of unacceptable behavior. I'm quite careful about where I place my attention and energy to. Not everyone deserves them, after all. So yeah, most days, I do not retaliate or waste my time responding to ignorance. I like my peace so I'll do everything to protect it.
What is PRIDE for you?
Pride is a memorial – a unique celebration and a remarkable reminder of a fight that will never end because equality is just an idea, a privilege, a dream.
Any advice that you would want to give to your 16-year old self?
You can't hide under those baggy jeans, bold hair color and floral printed shirts for a long time. Bloom when you're ready, not when you're angry. I promise it'll get better each year.
Don't let this cruel world snatch your hope for better days because those days are just around the corner. It may not seem like it, but you are loved.
Follow Ralz San Pedro on all her social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for more updates. Also, subscribe to her YouTube channel and like or follow her Dabawenyang Transginger Facebook page.