Women’s Day PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 March 2018 11:52

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

 

In 1969, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos wrote, or her ghost writer did: “For thousands of years, at evening time, as the sun goes down in Manila Bay, you can see the dark velvet slopes and peeks of Mariveles take the shape of a woman at rest. We call it the Sleeping Goddess, born of earth and stone, fused in the elemental creative fire. Through all these years, she has lain there, a silent witness to the rise and ebb of the tides of history that have flowed around our islands. She alone has endured, her beauty and freshness undimmed, while around her lie the ruins and scars of history, the fallen monuments of brass and stone and the sunken argosies of those who sought to possess this land and who were overwhelmed by time.”

IRM was the “patroness of the arts” that she had the Cultural Center of the Philippines erected that served, until now, the center for the performing arts. The philosophic liking of Mrs. Marcos, described one noted writer, goes beyond arts and culture, literature and even architecture. Like her, we should realize the situation of overseas Filipina workers in turbulent Middle East and some parts of Asia. What now is the role of Filipino women? To be mere housewives, working mothers, “slaves” to ruthless Middle-Eastern employers, contract maids, or caregivers in North America and Europe?

Mrs. Marcos, speaking at the conferment of the honorary degree of Doctor in Humanities by the Philippine Women’s University on February 20, 1969, said:

“This new Filipina represents a flowering of the cultures that have taken root and grown in the fertile soil of our islands. She is the daughter of those ancient Filipino women who long before the strangers came to these shores worked side by side with their husbands, active, industrious, even aggressive…In fact, the kind of woman Rizal’s mother was. At the same time, she is also the “daughter” of Maria Clara – refined, intellectual and self-sacrificing. Thus, without abandoning her ancient heritage, her warm outgoing friendliness, her golden color, her industry and above all the happy sun-kissed, song-filled approach to life that is the gift of our islands. She is nevertheless a woman of the times, equipped intellectually and culturally to meet the challenges.”

Yesterday, about 500 women paraded along Climaco Avenue to remind men and the world of the power and courage of women. Led by City Councilors Myra Valderrosa and Tin-Tin Pareja, the women marchers wore purple-velvet t-shirts as a sign of pride. They are no longer “muchachas” to their husbands or in-laws. They are now well secured in government, hospitals, department stores and in the Middle East even with the danger of being brutally slaughtered or violently maltreated.

The government, though much concerned and perturbed about the lives of our overseas workers, cannot just order them back to the Philippines because there are no US-dollar-paying jobs here for them. Besides, the OFWs are the number one financial contributors to our inflating economy in terms of remittances.

Thus, it is incumbent upon the present administration, mentally leaning towards federalism, to intervene by protecting the rights of our OFWs. We do heroic marches to mark an event to show support for embattled OFWs abused women. Our cares and circumspection for women for their labors and sacrifices extend beyond borders. Thus, the administration of justice for our brutally fallen OFWs and violently abused women should be the finest pillar of El Presidente.

Hail, Caesarias!