HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 46 no. 2 (2013)

Babaeng Bakla: Friendships between Women and Gay Men in the Philippines

Beatriz A. Torres | Eric Julian Manalastas

Discipline: Psychology



In Philippine culture, babaeng bakla refers to women who associate with and develop close friendships with gay men and participate in gay cultural activities. This paper discusses a research investigation that examines the “babaeng bakla” phenomenon in the Philippines from the perspective of personality trait psychology. Using both imported and indigenous personality measures, we tested the hypothesis that women who are “babaeng bakla” might differ from other women along certain trait dimensions. Based on our findings, we developed a tentative model which suggests that Filipino women with certain personality characteristics form a reciprocal attraction with gay men. This leads them to develop close friendships with gay men and in turn fashion a “babaeng bakla” identity within Filipino gay culture.