Women power
Women power
SINGKIT - Doreen G. Yu (The Philippine Star) - April 28, 2013 - 12:00am

I am not a member of any sorority or professional women’s organization because, honestly, gatherings of such groups can be overwhelming. The concentration of power, commitment, achievement and energy on such occasions can be dizzying, if not  intimidating, with ideas and opinions bouncing around like crazy, one as exciting as the next, and the one after that bordering on the mind-boggling.

I recently attended a lunch hosted by former foreign affairs secretary Delia Albert, in which she gathered a group of women to discuss raising the profile and image of Filipino women on the world stage. Around the table sat an environmental champion, a UN water and sanitation expert, women who work in conflict areas providing education and livelihood, community workers, entrepreneurs (one of them has patented a waterless toilet system that is widely used in buildings and homes in the Middle East), educators... all of them doing fantastic work, often facing daunting challenges with meager resources but achieving incredible results.

At a recent board meeting of Tanghalang Pilipino, my co-trustee Imelda Nicolas arrived mid-lunch, having just come from the Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora organized by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, which she heads. In between approving the budget for the theater company’s next productions, Mely enthused about the many, many very successful Filipino women scattered all over the globe, doing great work, earning accolades, making their marks as lawyers, writers, businesswomen, community leaders...

From these and other similar encounters, we have put together a growing list of Filipino women doing amazing things here and abroad. We have our writers doing research and interviews and writing stories that will not only make all of us proud, but will hopefully inspire us to do our part, and do more, to help in nation building, to push sustainable development, to add voice to articulating and shaping our national identity, to define what it means to be a Filipino. We share these wonderful stories with our readers in this and subsequent issues.

Our founder Betty Go-Belmonte was an amazing woman, and not just because she founded not one but the two major English language newspapers in the country today. She was a woman of great faith, undaunted by the greatest odds, unshakable in her belief in what was right and true, and firmly committed to the betterment of the Filipino nation and people.

Her sorority at the University of the Philippines, Sigma Delta Phi, has in partnership with The STAR, sponsored an award in her name to recognize outstanding women. Four BGB awards were given out last Saturday at the sorority alumnae gathering: journalism senior Marisse Panaligan, community entrepreneur Lulu Ocampo, service awardee Bea Monzon, and the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. That gathering was another one of those overwhelming events, when one realizes how much the women of the sorority have achieved over the last 80 years and will continue to achieve in the next 80 and some years. 




“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after killing the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  Luke 12:4-7

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