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Filipina achievers hailed on International Women’s Day

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Saturday, March 9th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Women, with their vulnerability and fragility, are highly valued in the Philippine society.

They play an important role in keeping the household intact because ‘family always comes first’ in such a conservative country as the Philippines.

But aside from the ‘heroines’ at home, several Filipinas have also become popular in different fields here and abroad.

The Philippines is dubbed as the ‘beauty queen powerhouse’ of the world for bagging most of the titles in international beauty pageants since Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz and Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran.

In fact, in 2015, the Global Beauty Pageant Circuit crowned the Philippines as Country of the Year for snagging prominent spots in the international stage.

A total of seven international crowns were brought home by stunning Filipina beauties during that year with the most controversial win of ‘confidently beautiful’ Pia Wurtzbach as Miss Universe 2015.

Other beauty title holders include Angelina Ong (Miss Earth 2015); Ann Lorraine Maniego Colis (Miss Globe 2015); Parul Shah (Miss Grand International 2015); Hillarie Parungao (Miss World 2015); Janicel Lubina (Miss International 2015); and Rogelie Catacutan (Miss Supranational 2015).

In just three years, the country made another headline with Catriona Gray’s signature ‘lava walk’ and her smooth win as Miss Universe 2018.

The Philippines already had two women presidents in the persons of Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The country would have had two women chief justices if not for the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno in 2018 via quo warranto petition.

Her position was taken over by Teresita de Castro, who was named the first woman chief justice of the Philippines but served the shortest term as the top magistrate of the land.

A number of Filipinas have also left a mark in the global music industry such as Tony and Academy award winner Lea Salonga; American Idol runner-up,Jessica Sanchez; China’s Singer 2018 finalist KZ Tandingan; and Asia’s Phoenix Morissette Amon.

And in the field of sports, Olympian Hidilyn Diaz is no exception.

#BalanceforBetter is this year’s International Women’s Day theme which aimed at “gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women’s achievements” according to the International Women’s Day website.

The International Women’s Day is observed around the world on March 8 of each year since 1975 as adopted by the United Nations. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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Filipina injured in Kazakhstan road accident—DFA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Moscow, is currently assisting the Filipina injured in a road accident in Kazakhstan.

Jennifer Francisco Lavapiez was among the 27 injured in the multiple-vehicular collision on Tuesday. It involved three buses, two passenger cars and an ambulance. Two persons died in the accident.

According to Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta, Lavapiez informed the Philippine Embassy in Moscow through their Facebook page about her situation.

Lavapiez is now in stable condition and is also being assisted by her employer.

“The Embassy is monitoring her situation and is coordinating with its contacts in Kazakhstan in following up with the bus company on their support for the victims of the collision,” The DFA said in their statement.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Duterte calls for unity for women empowerment

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 8th, 2019

In celebration of the International Women’s Day, President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to work together to address the needs of women in the country and acknowledge their contribution to society.

In a statement, he said the fight for true equality among genders goes on and working together can “optimize the potential of every Filipina”.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our women are able to pursue their dreams and participate in addressing the challenges of our times,” he said.

Duterte also encouraged government officials, starting from the local government, to push for platforms that can resolve the challenges in implementing gender equality and development.

The President reiterated the government’s dedication to provide equal opportunity for everyone.

Meanwhile, a women’s group waved kangkong (water spinach), in Mendiola
Friday morning, while chanting how the leafy vegetable symbolizes poverty and the dim future of the country once incompetent senators are elected.

They are also continuing the fight against contractualization, poverty, and other issues that hamper the dignity of women.

The group condemned the president’s treatment of women, calling it a form of misogyny.

“Remember iyong pinatay na Australian missionary, sabi niya ‘maganda pa naman dapat mayor ang mauna’. Kaya gumawa kami ng aksyon. Rape is no joke. Pagktapos isa pa, sasabihin niya sa mga sundalo, ‘Kapag kayo nakapanggahasa ng tatlo, ako ang may responsibilidad diyan,” women’s rights advocate, Mary John Mananzan said. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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MRT-3 offers free rides to women

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 8th, 2019

MRT Taft Avenue Station

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Women who are taking the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) on Friday morning (March 8) need not pay for their train fare.

This is the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) way of celebrating International Women’s Day.

Free rides begin at 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and will resume at 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Aside from MRT-3, Pasig River Ferry Service is also offering free rides to female passengers on Friday.

READ: Women to get free ferry rides, Intramuros museum access on March 8

Museums like Casa Manila Museum, Baluarte de San Diego, and Fort Santiago in Intramuros are also offering free entrance to women in celebration of International Women’s Day.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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