2003 National Artist and former Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Virgilio Almario has written a poem honoring what he has described as “ the three stars on his flag”: First Philippine Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, first Philippine Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, and Presidential candidate VP Leni Robedo. Alongside Rio Alma (as he is fondly called), I daresay our country’s recent history has been replete with women who have brought hope, honor and pride to our people.While the pages of our history books have always had the names of men as our great heroes, these women have been modern-day heroines for the history books of our grandchildren and our grandchildren’s children. No doubt, they come from the lineage of great Filipino women like Gabriela Silang and Tandang Sora, fondly called the Mother of the Revolution. Hidilyn Diaz has captured our hearts with her hard work, perseverance and determination that brought her the Olympic Gold medal. Maria Ressa has emboldened us to fight for our democratic rights and freedom of expression in her own fight to uphold the truth . And now, Presidential candidate Leni Robredo has boldly and courageously stepped forward to become the symbol of political change at a critical time of our history as a people.
As we look forward to the coming national elections on the 2nd Tuesday of May 2022, this column is taking this opportunity to give due credit to these women who have influenced the course of our country in nation building. We add to this list the late President Corazon C. Aquino, widow of the late Senator Benigno Aquino, who was elected President beyond her expectation, after the 1986 Edsa Revolution as a protest against the Marcos dictatorship and the assassination of her late husband. Then. too we remember Gina Lopez whose brave advocacy for the preservation of our environment is widely known to the Filipino people. And every day as we open our tv sets, we see women among the doctors, nurses and other medical health workers who are unselfishly serving the hospitals and other health facilities without regard to health hazards to continue to protect our nation from the COVID 19.pandemic. These are our modern heroines and we salute all of them. Indeed we are a nation of strong women, and this year in particular has been a year of women empowerment, something that this columnist takes pride in.
In the local scene, this column wishes to give tribute to Bry. Concepcion Grande through Punong Barangay Rex Oliva for establishing the Barangay Law Center. The Law Center aims to give free legal advice to the constituency of the barangay and has already earned the support of former Naga City Mayor John Bongat thru his radio program “Abogado Juan at your Service” and other volunteer lawyers from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Naga Chapter, and law students from the Ateneo de Naga University and the University of Nueva Caceres. Kudos on this great initiative!
It has been one year since the death of our AdeNU high school batch ‘54 Rene Villegas. A Eucharistic Celebration will be held in remembrance of his death anniversary. After the mass, lunch will be served by Lily Villegas for a few selected friends at their residence here in Naga.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“THERE IS NO LIMIT TO WHAT WE, AS WOMEN, CAN ACCOMPLISH” -MICHELLE OBAMA
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“AND MARY SAID, MY SOUL MAGNIFIES THE LORD MY SPIRIT REJOICES IN GOD MY SAVIOR” -LUKE 1:46