FLORA, Apayao Hundreds of women braved the cold weather early morning of March 22 to participate in the unity walk and tree planting before rallying to Dr. Efren U. De San Jose Memorial Sports Center here to attend the 2018 Provincial Women’s Month Celebration.
The celebration merged all officers and members of the Apayao Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI) Federation along with the Social Welfare Development Officers and staff who were joined by provincial and municipal officials to recognize their valuable contributions and further empower them through information and education campaign on women’s right, involvement in spectacular performances and active participation in all lined up contested activities.
Guest speaker Ms. Ma. Gina L. Pateña, Philippine Federation of Local Council of Women, Inc. Board of Director appreciated the complete support of officials in the province stating that even if the celebration mainly called for women’s gathering, distinguished men such as Vice Governor Remy Albano, Honorable Board Members, two mayors and Sangguniang Bayan Members were present ready to cheer and laud for their achievements.
“Ako’y natutuwa na sa selebrasyong tulad nito, ang mga kalalakihan sa Probinisya ng Apayao ay may malaking paggalang sa mga kababaihan. Sa ibang probinsiya hindi ganito ang pag-celebrate ng Women’s Month. Congratulations! (I am glad that in this kind of celebration, men in the Province of Apayao have high regard for women. In other provinces, this is not how they celebrate Women’s Month),” Pateña said.
Pateña reiterated the critical role of women-parents in preparing the children for a brighter future. “Napakalaki ang responsibilidad ng mga ina sa paghubog ng mga bata para sa susunod na henerasyon (There is a great responsibility of women in molding our children for the next generation). Bear in mind that indeed behind the success or failure of a man is a woman,” she admitted.
Mayor Rodolfo Juan of Flora warmly welcomed all the participants and recognized women’s skills in contributing real change in the community. “Ang mga babae ay katuwang sa pagbabago (Women are our partner in initiating change). Let us put to heart this year’s theme, that is, we really make change work for women,” the host mayor stressed.
As part of the program, Apayao Provincial KALIPI Federation President Rizza Guiang being conferred the outstanding professional award was recognized for her valuable contributions in the province. She does not only embody an empowered woman leader but also a humble supportive wife to Hon. Rolly Guiang who has been awarded recently as one of the most outstanding mayors in the country for two consecutive years now.
In behalf of Representative Eleanor “Congw. Leah” Bulut-Begtang, her staff Marinel Ginez delivered her message. Congw. Leah reiterated her full support to women’s programs even with a limited funds due to the junked PDAF.
As a woman-leader herself, she believes in the ability of empowered women in instigating real changes in the community. She greatly regards women as catalyst of change not only as passive individuals waiting orders from men. She even rephrased the theme in order to align with her insight that “women work for change.”
The programs of Congw. Leah in empowering the women center on women’s health, protection from heinous crime like rape and household disaster preparedness. She has high expectation that the livelihood programs she has funded will thrive and generate income for women’s family. “Gone are those days when women are just waiting for their husband’s salary,” Congw. Leah stressed.
Before the program, there was a tree planting then a unity walk from Brgy. Bagutong to Poblacion. In the afternoon the women showed their skills in souvenir-making contest and disaster role playing contest.
They had also orientations on PFLCW programs and Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. In the evening, a socialization and assembly were held which all participants mostly women enjoyed. By GERRIAHZON S. SEBASTIAN