Legal Alternatives for Women Center, Inc. through its program, Sa Mata sa Kababayen-an aired by CCTN connected us with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) through the guesting of its present chairperson, Dr. Rhodora Masilang-Bucoy.
The sharing had a great deal of reminders and news. She declared that a big part of the work of PCW was the full implementation of Magna Carta of Women. Although the presence of females in various fields has grown, much needs to be done in the area of politics.
For instance the presence of women both in the House of Representatives and the Senate is very much less than 50 %. Imagine the implication of this in coming legislations especially those with direct connections to women and the family.
Efforts are being exerted to bring the policies closer to the women especially those in the localities, the grassroots. Work is being done to translate the books, laws, and other materials into the local languages.
There has been the training of gender experts from all over the country. Such capacity building will hopefully lead to an improvement in gender planning.
This also ensured that the mandated Gender and Development (GAD) budget will actually benefit women. In the local government units, the gender evaluation, “Girl Ka Na Ba?” project is re-emphasized.
How have the needs and realities of women been integrated in the plans, budget, and activities of LGUs? Improving the condition of women will actually create development in the lives of the people.
Program anchor, Atty. Virginia Palanca-Santiago raised the question: “What are we doing about the men?” after it was declared that of 30,000 violence against women (VAW) cases of 30 % were rape cases. The response: “we are now engaging the men.”
So let me raise a couple of role models. Col. Cesar M. Miel was a military man but I cannot recall that he ever used a weapon nor did he inflict pain on anyone. Instead we were all resting on the comfort of his protection.
When Sr. Delia Coronel asked Lolet, Inday, the 2 Fes, and myself wanted to send us to Libungan in Cotabato to arrange the library of the local school, my mother called Tio Cesar to check if it was safe for us to be there.
With his go signal we went. It was good that he was then in charge of the communication in Mindanao; it meant we could reach him in case of emergencies.
After being very much shaken after our boat to Pagadian had to return to Cotabato City because of a storm, he and Tia Vic met up with us in Iligan; and we recovered calm.
Looking back, I now realize how dependent I was on him when I was studying in Diliman.
Not having learned to use the computer, I used his typewriter. When there was a shortage of LPG, I called him to ask about an electric burner.
Then, when I had to prepare for the comprehensive examination, I requested to be allowed to have his house helper, Linda with me. Having completed the course work, I was ready to return to Cebu, with a great deal of luggage.
So I asked him and Tia Vic to bring to the port.
When we had to decide whether Mommy Er should be operated on we consulted him. When Mommy Ching had a stroke he came. What a loving, comforting presence! Weeks ago, he died at the age of 90.
Tito Dong was also 90, when he passed away, last week. We attended his burial to express gratitude to his entire family: Tita Rose, Sansan, Gigi, Lalan, Micky, Jojo, Risa, Wena, Yana, Nella and their families.
When my mother was sick with cancer and had to be exposed to radiation at the Makati Medical Center, we stayed with Tito Dong and his family.
He always drove us to the hospital for the month long treatment; otherwise he made sure that there would be someone to take us there. When my brother Dongie studied in Diliman, he was the guardian.
Like Tio Cesar, he quietly went through his loving ways. Once he surprised us arriving in the old house in Mabolo, all by himself, with a big basket of lanzones from Mambajao. Gigi’s narrative during the funeral Mass about Tio Dong moved me very much. During World War II, Tio Dong at 15 was his mother’s (Lola Loleng’s) companion in Zamboanga.
When they needed food supplies, he was made responsible of getting this from Basilan. He took the responsibility very seriously, even sitting on the meat when bad weather occurred and others became rowdy. I loved Tito Dong’s way of passing on to Gigi the sense of caring response to challenging moments.
I can never thank the Divine Spirit enough for Tio Cesar and Tito Dong.
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