Cagayan raises peace, women’s rights


TUGUEGARAO CITY — In celebration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), the Gabriela Women’s Alliance and its youth counterpart, Gabriela Youth, in Cagayan Valley (CV) launched a three-day women’s festival dubbed ‘Peace Ta Kababaihan’, March 6, at the Cagayan State University — Andrews Campus in this city.

With the theme: “Peace Ta Kababaihan! Makibaka para sa Makatarungan at Pangmatagalang Kapayapaan!”, Peace Ta (read as ‘pista’) Kababaihan aimed to unite and raise awareness of the various women’s groups to advance the cause of peace and their basic rights and welfare.

Cagayan State University’s (CSU) first woman president, Dr. Urduja Tejada, welcomed the participants from different women’s organizations, agencies, communites, and schools.

Provincial Board Member Maila Ting Que, president of the Philippine Coucilor’s League – Cagayan, herself an advocate of women’s causes, expressed her solidarity to the activity and full support to the resumption of peace talks.

“Events like this is the first step towards unifying our communities to create change from the grassroots, our youth and professionals. Together we fight for women’s rights and make our voice be heard as we call for the resumption of the peace negotiations,” said Ting.

Lecture series launch

The celebration also featured the launching of the 1st Ines Carinugan Lecture Series, a collaborative project by University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman professor Joanna Manzano, local chapters of Gabriela, and CSU.

The lecture series showcased studies on Cagayanons, particularly women, in the making of Philippine history and is envisioned to serve as a venue for local research and intellectual discourse.

Manzano said Cagayanons are devoted to freedom and is manifested by Magalat’s uprising in Cagayan Valley on 1596, the first recorded uprising in the valley. It is believed that Magalat was driven by her mother, Ina Magalat, and shows that women even during those times were not voiceless, powerless, and docile.

Ines Carinugan, believed to be a babaylan, led the Itawes of the area’s uprising against the Spaniard in the year 1661.

“Tayo ay mga kababaihan para sa kalayaan. Tayo ay kababaihan para sa kapayapaan. Katulad ng ating mga ninuno na sina Gabriela Silang at Ines Carinugan, nananalaytay sa ating dugo ang pagmamahal sa ating bayan,” (We are women for peace. Like our ancestors Ina Magalat and Ines Carinugan, love for our country runs in our blood.) said Jane Ruiz, chairperson of Gabriela-Cagayan, said during the lecture series.

The participants united in the call to stop abuses against women and children, address the roots of poverty and called on women to speak up and fight for their rights.

Testimonies from peasant women, youth, and indigenous people were also featured to recognize their tireless battle against poverty, landlessness, and environmental plunder and hailed as our modern day Gabriela.

Other lectures in the Peace Ta Kababaihan include Women, Children, and CASER by Rossana Langara of Center for Women Research and lecture on Violence Against Women and Children by Gabriela National Office.

Peace Ta Kababaihan culminated with the dance One Billion Rising participated in by hundreds of students from different universities in Cagayan. #


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