baby diwata queer dj musician safe spaces

Through The Booming Beats, Filipina DJ And Creative Baby Diwata Finds Their Peace With The Femmes And The Queers

She's a star.

With their unrelenting beats and eclectic style, Manila-born DJ and creative Baby Diwata is carving out a safe space for women, queers, and allies in the underground Hong Kong scene.

Related: The Tables Have Turned: These Filipina DJs Are Killing The Game

“I think, at the end of the day, everyone is looking for the same thing—home.” For a lot of members of marginalized communities, especially those in new places, finding somewhere to belong is a tall order.

Safe, welcoming spaces for all sorts of interests and niches, particularly for women and the LGBTQIA+ community, have long been few and far between. But as times change and people seek out to do good and change things in whatever ways they can, more and more communities are brought together, taking up space they rightfully deserve.

Born and raised in Manila, Baby Diwata, or Aisha, moved to Hong Kong to be with their mother just a few years ago, with a college degree under their belt and an inclination to take their next major life step in the vibrant streets of Hong Kong. 

baby diwata queer dj musician safe spaces

Photographed by Affa Chan

The 26-year old DJ and multidisciplinary creative doesn’t just bust out beats on the decks in the underground nightclubs in the city. They’re also a model, image maker, photo and video producer, with a background in film and photography. Baby Diwata is also now an event producer at Möth Agency, a queer and alternative DJ agency and events collective they recently launched with their friends in Hong Kong.

“I enjoy exploring all these art forms and not sticking to one,” they explain. “I never want to compartmentalize myself. I want to use what I know and keep finding out what I’m good at.”


baby diwata queer dj musician safe spaces

Baby Diwata is driven by a desire to diversify the electronic music scene in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, and to create safe spaces for women, queers, and allies. Though a creative since they were young, Baby Diwata started their sonic journey in Hong Kong, where, as they started exploring the art of it all, they noticed the lack of diversity in the scene.

“I always thought that there was something missing in the booming, underground music scene of Hong Kong,” they share. “It didn’t take much for me to notice that it was heavily male-dominated.” From musicians to event organizers, men made up a large portion of the DJ and event scene, and it wasn’t often as diverse a space as it could be. Women and queer individuals were underrepresented, and it definitely wasn’t just owed to a lack of interest. 

baby diwata queer dj musician safe spaces

“When I began DJing, I always saw it as something that was bigger than me.” Taking over the decks isn’t just a way for them to pursue something they wanted to do—make the music they wanted to dance to—but also a signal to women, queers, and allies that this space was one where they would be safe and welcome, free to move to the beats and be who they are.


baby diwata queer dj musician safe spaces

Photographed by Brittney Estuar

It’s not an easy task to take the stage and perform in front of a whole crowd of people. Baby Diwata in all their glory is a confident creative, as eclectic and electric as their music. But that’s not always the case.

Baby Diwata admits they grew up with social anxiety, and never thought they’d be able to take the stage in any way. Their confidence ebbs and flows, at an all-time high one moment, low the next. But at the end of the day, they share, re-centering yourself and recognizing you deserve to be confident in your identity and taking up your own space is important.

baby diwata queer dj musician safe spaces

“I personally am still trying to learn it. It requires so much grace and patience with yourself. It’s really not easy for someone who spends most of their time second guessing themselves.”

Going back to why they pursue their craft and push for diversity and inclusivity in the underground music scene in Hong Kong in the first place is something that keeps them grounded. “This really is something bigger than me. I’m not only doing this for myself, but for all the women around me.”

Baby Diwata only started DJ-ing in front of crowds last year, and to say they were nervous is an understatement (“I felt sick to my stomach.”). But, like many of those who dared to dream and worked to hold those dreams in their hands, they pushed through despite everything that could possibly hold them back.

baby diwata queer dj musician safe spaces

Baby Diwata shares a passage from their journal, written before they were set to take the next big step in their creative journey—an entry commemorating the familiar feeling of something in your gut that’s just urging you to go forth and live your truth, as loudly and proudly as you can.

“I haven’t felt this much of a push to pursue something in a while. A true urge/drive from your core, to be great at something new. Tonight is my first step. I am so proud of myself, and I am so thankful for those who helped me get here and trusted in my talent. I want to remember that I’m not only doing this for the little kid performer in me, but for the community of femmes and queers who are waiting for their moment to dance.”

Photos courtesy of Baby Diwata.

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