Andreah Dianne M. Cartagena

Following the criticisms sparked by Pura Luka Vega's performance of "Ama Namin," the drag queen apologized but explained that it was a means of healing from personal experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as a Catholic.

Photo Courtesy to Philippine Drag Updates/Pura Luka Vega (Twitter)

“I feel like they want me to apologize, but I apologize if it made them uncomfortable, but I really did that performance as a way for me to kind of heal the exclusion I have experienced as a Catholic, as a queer person being somewhat being made to feel that I don’t really belong," said Vega.

On July 9, Vega posted a video on Twitter showing their performance in an outfit resembling the Nazareno, accompanied by a rock rendition of "Ama Namin" or the Lord's Prayer, with the audience singing along. The post was captioned, "Thank you for coming to church!"

The drag artist admitted to not expecting the act to gain national attention, saying, "I don’t think that I merit that much attention. I’m just a drag queen, I’m just a human being and I don’t know if that calls for a national issue having senators react in that way… but I hope that they also understand it from my point of view."

The post went viral, leading both netizens and politicians, as well as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and LGBTQIA+ groups, to denounce the act as offensive and blasphemous.

“It is clearly offensive for the Catholics knowing that someone we adore and worship became an icon for entertainment," expressed Emjee, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community from Talisay City, in an interview with SunStar Cebu.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs, stated that such an act is not an expression of faith but rather represents a form of entertainment that does not constitute worship.

Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the Philippines' first transgender woman lawmaker, also expressed her disappointment, stating, "Sa mga Katoliko na na-offend, I feel for you. Kasama ninyo akong nasasaktan. Pero sana 'wag niyong isipin na lahat kami sa Community ay ganito. Maraming LGBT+ ang nagmamahal at naglilingkod sa Dios at Simbahan."

Vega added that this was not the first time they had done such an impersonation, and they intend to continue doing so as it is their way of honoring the Catholic faith in their own unique manner.