the sunny club ph sunny side ph queer sapphic spaces safe spaces lesbian spaces ph lgbtqia+

The Sunny Club PH Is Giving Queer Filipinas Safe Spaces To Build Community

This one's for the girls.

The Sunny Club PH is cultivating safe spaces for queer and sapphic Filipino women, one event, one party, one get-together at a time.

Related: What Is Queer Joy? Empower And Celebrate Through Another Aspect Of Queer Existence

From Chappell Roan Night to cozy afternoon hangouts, you may have seen some fun WLW-only events going around on social media. These events are organized by a small team of young queer Filipino women advocating for safe spaces for sapphics and cultivating queer joy while also seeking collective understanding of the queer experience.

Though it’s not a rare sight, especially during Pride Month, to see queer people celebrate, party, or hang out, women- or sapphic-only events that get as much visibility are few and far between. It was even reported that in the late 2000s, a few popular lesbian bars all closed down due to financial challenges, not an uncommon problem across the world.

But as time goes on, more people are committed to collectively celebrating diverse identities and building community, such as the team behind now-viral The Sunny Club PH as well as all their attendees.

Founded by Jewel and Cal, sapphics and students at the University of the Philippines Diliman, the Sunny Club PH, or Sunny Side Club, is a fast-growing community by and for queer Filipinas. Joined by their newest team member in charge of social media and marketing, Yana, the Sunny Club organizes hangouts, parties, and events designed to let sapphic and queer Filipino women be free to express themselves, find community, and build a network to help, guide, and connect with each other.


@thesunnyclubph join the sunny side for wlw-only events and hang-outs 🫣 waitlist link: PS: people not on the server get, check your friend requests! [ #wlw #lesbians #lgbt #sapphic #lgbtqphilippines #wlwtiktok #lesbiansoftiktok #queergirls ♬ original sound – 🚨

“As lesbians, it’s coming from a place of need,” Cal says. The Sunny Club’s origins could be traced back to Jewel’s simple desire to watch Bottoms (2023) with other queer women. In an article she wrote for The Philippine STAR, Jewel lamented the lack of safe public spaces where queer women could get together, and started by giving an interest check to a Discord community, where she was met with more responses than she thought she’d get.

“It started with a Tiktok, a Discord community, until we slowly started to get more people coming, so we had to book venues,” Jewel recounts. “Then from 12 people, it became 100.”


♬ original sound – sunny ☀️🌈☀️

“I didn’t know there were a hundred lesbians in the Philippines!” Cal quips. From there, they committed to organizing events in cafés, clubs, and bars, bringing more queer women together. “It’s always been about carving a space that you need as queer person.” Though there are spaces, like Ámame, for Filipino queer females, not all of them are accessible.

The Sunny Club PH hosts crafty café get-togethers, meriendas, mini drag shows, and themed parties. Recently, they held the Pink Pony Club event, or more colloquially known as Chappell Roan Night, a party set to the music of rising queer icon Chappell Roan. In just a year, the community has grown to welcome hundreds of queer women, a testament to how much they needed a space to find community.


@thesunnyclubph nothing new 🥰 one of our favorite clips from our last all-sapphic event in metro manila! join us for all girls all wlw all sapphic all lesbian events hehe #parties #lgbtph #lgbt #lgbtphilippines #lesbians #lesbiansoftiktok #wlwtiktok #wlw #wlwtok #wlwedit #lesbianbar #sunnysideclub #sunnyclubph #lesbiancouplegoals #lesbianbar #wlwbar #lgbtbar #lesbianparty #wlwparty #girlslikegirls #hayleykiyoko #loveislove #pride #pridemonth2024 #lesbianclub #lesbianclubinmanila ♬ original sound – sunny ☀️🌈☀️

The Sunny Club’s intention, though, was never to just host parties in bars and dance the night away. The nightlife is the first place they found, historically a space deeply entrenched in queer culture. In these parties, queer Filipino women find love, friendship, and most of all, community. A space to feel safe and welcome, free to be who they are. But the nightlife is not their be-all-end-all.

“A physical space isn’t easy to come up with,” Cal admits, and while bars are often the most forgiving to let Sunny Club host events, “You don’t need to be drunk every time just to be with your community.”

“We have a lot of parties, but what we really want to be is a community,” Jewel adds. “We want to provide a network needed for queer women to access so many things.” From asking about queer sex to connecting individuals with, for instance, doctors and lawyers that would not discriminate again them, building a community with the Sunny Club PH also means helping them on their journey as queer individuals.

Queer Filipino women of all ages attend the Sunny Club’s events, not just young sapphics. They share that people take time off work to attend their events—and some even fly in from provinces—making the effort to be part of a community in a space that they experience quite rarely.

“Every event we’ve worked on,” Yana says. “Sobra yung nafe-feel mong safety and happiness from the people that come.” Cultivating an environment that’s safe and comfortable has always been their thrust. In every event, no matter how chill or wild, they want to create a welcoming atmosphere.

“And when you’re there,” Jewel says. “You feel comfortable, you feel safe, no matter how you identify, no matter who you are, no matter what age you are.”


Though exclusivity is desired by many to ensure an environment of similar and shared experiences, women should be able to live freely and safely regardless of where they are. They bring up how queer female and sapphic experiences and struggles are often not as visible or highlighted amongst a sea of other queer issues (all of them just as important). More often than not, they are also underrepresented and stereotyped. So the need for a safe space just for them is understandable.

Unfortunately, even in these spaces that the Sunny Club PH cultivates, they face discrimination and pushback. From bars not hiring bouncers because they think a group of queer women wouldn’t need any intervention, to being in angry confrontations with men or queer individuals who want to force their way into their events, there are a myriad of challenges that the team faces.

With their responsibilities as organizers, it’s sometimes become difficult to enjoy the very events they host. It’s a hard act to balance—being responsible for the safety of the community they’ve grown, and also still fulfilling their desire to be one with that very community.

“It’s hard to go through that feeling of alienation,” Jewel says. Dealing with people from their own community screaming at them to be let in even though they can’t be accommodated due to safety and capacity issues is upsetting, because as much as they want to be welcoming to people who desire that safe space, logistically, sometimes it can’t be done.

“It’s a lot of anxiety,” Cal says. “It’s a lot of angry people, even from the queer community who starts shouting at [us] because we’re not meeting their expectations.”

The Sunny Club PH being their passion project, Jewel, Cal, and Yana understands that these things happen, and they just have to pick themselves back up. But it’s also a staggering reminder that in the big year of 2024, it’s so difficult to even have safe spaces. Cal says, “Why are we still fighting just to have a tiny event for us—yung para sa amin lang sana.”

@thesunnyclubph bringing u both worlds ⭐️🌈 watch out for more of our june dates! @thesunnyclubph on instagram #lgbtphilippines #sapphic #lesbian #loveislove #pridemonth #prideparade #pride2024 #QCPride #lgbt #lgbtph #fyp #girlslikegirls #wlw #lesbiansoftiktok #queertok #sapphicbar #lesbianbar #wlwbar #wlwclub #lesbianclub #sapphicclub ♬ NASTY GURLLLL – 💸.

They admit they’re not perfect, and have a lot to do and learn, but they’re always driven by the desire to make their situations, their circumstances, and the events they create safer. They want to do more events—more diverse events, not just parties, and more outside of the Metro; partner with more queer-owned businesses and brands; platform more people, places and communities; and work on their resource database to, as Jewel says, “somewhat make it easier to be a queer woman in the Philippines.”

“There’s so many good things, still,” Jewel remarks. “We have to keep looking at the sunny side of things and just keep going because what we’re doing is much more important than the struggles we face logistically and personally. You just have to keep on going.”

Continue Reading: Celebrate Love, Identity, And Equality At These Pride Events This Pride Month 2024