How a hotel in Cebu defies rainbow washing trends

Q-Spectra is an organization within Quest composed of LGBTQIA+ employees.
Q-Spectra is an organization within Quest composed of LGBTQIA+ employees.
Quest Hotel serves as a central hub for Cebu Pride Movement activities.
Quest Hotel serves as a central hub for Cebu Pride Movement activities.

Representation matters. Not just rainbow flags or emojis but genuine inclusivity that goes beyond surface-level gestures is what it means to be a real ally. It’s great to see brands decked out in Pride colors, but the impact lies when the advocacy does not end on June 30.

When Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu opened its doors, it also opened its spaces to the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, plus) community. The hotel engaged in discussions on how to approach Pride Month with authenticity and without pretending. If brands fail to supplement their Pride visuals with actions, the sentiment falls flat.

Here’s how Quest gets it right.

Q Spectra

Brands frequently come under fire for their lack of proactive efforts in recruiting and retaining LGBTQIA+ talent that leads people to question diversity practices.

For Quest, a new internal organization called Q Spectra was formed. More than 20 LGBTQIA+ employees are now part of this dynamic group.

“At Q Spectra, we create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ employees of Quest Hotel. We support each other and share experiences as an organization. We help our company initiate workshops and symposiums that cover LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health and cultural competency,” said Cesar Villaganas, senior sales manager.

Marketing communications and public relations manager Noreen Tormis puts it simply: “Because we believe in what they are fighting for.” With this commitment, Quest Hotel has become the space for Cebu’s largest Pride movement, organized by various professionals coming together for the cause.

For the past four years, Quest Hotel has been generously donating a significant portion of their room sales during Pride Month to the Love Yourself Cebu organization. Love Yourself Cebu is dedicated to fighting Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Food and beverage manager, Karen Satorre, along with the hotel’s kitchen team, also prepares pastries and dinner for a cause, with a portion of the proceeds going to Love Yourself.

”This is the kind of partnership that we want to promote and foster. There are a lot of companies that just put up a rainbow and say yes, we’re inclusive. That’s part of it but at the same time, if you really want to live up to that purpose, it should transcend into creating an impact somewhere in your internal or external operations,” said Matthew Basabe of Cebu Pride Movement.

“The Q Spectra organization, by the word of the ‘organization,’ has their own president and down to the muses so it’s how inclusive Quest is,” said Tormis.

Tormis said respecting human rights starts with being sensitive to people’s needs. Quest formed Q-Spectra so that individuals, no matter their religion, background or abilities, feel valid and recognized in every decision the company makes.

Quest Hotel continues to host various activities like an art exhibit as part of the Cebu Pride Movement’s calendar and kickoff event. On June 7, they featured a photo exhibit of 20 notable LGBTQIA+ Cebuanos and a Broadway musical performed by drag queens Chloe Sparkles, Vi Ponce and Vae Zha Yazz.

While companies often falter with rainbow-washing, Quest Hotel Cebu creates genuine conversations and actions. Its commitment to inclusivity goes beyond Pride Month, embodied in the formation of Q Spectra and proactive support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Quest’s initiatives, including donations to Love Yourself Cebu and inclusive workplace practices, set a powerful example.

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