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Si Kumander*

3 Nov

by Daniel Infante Tuaño

Pre-colonial history will tell us the important spiritual and political positions held by Filipino women in villages. In a traditional Filipino family, the mother serves as  ilaw ng tahanan (literally translated as light of the home) while the father is the haligi ng tahanan (post of the home), which reflects the equal sharing of functions unless the‘padre de familia’ asserts his exclusive right in decision making.

Having a woman boss in las Islas Filipinas is neither new nor a fad amidst the current trend of affirmative action employed by some countries and international institutions to distribute job opportunities.  As we all know, we already had two commanders-in-chief: the late President Cory Aquino and President-turned-Congresswoman Arroyo. We had a woman ambassador and currently, women occupy the top positions of the Madrid Consulate. Just recently, I got the chance to meet the leaders of Filipino associations from Madrid, Milan and Rome and 95% of them are women.

In Spain, Filipino migration has been considered for many years feminine until the hotel and restaurant sectors opened its doors to Filipino men. Migration is certainly bringing changes to gender roles both in the country of origin and the host country–women migrants, having an improved buying power, are taking the role of provider, which is the society-dictated role of Filipino men. These women migrants who usually take charge of ‘domestic’ roles, in turn, facilitate the entry of women of the host country to labor market.

Recently, a report on gender equality has been released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The report puts the Philippines in the top 10 among 134 countries in terms of gender equality.

“The WEF said that the Philippines continues to set the example in Asia, ranking ninth overall because of a strong performance on all four dimensions of the index: health and survival, educational attainment, economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment.”

Iceland and other Nordic countries top the list; United States is at top 15 while Spain is at top 11.  Here’s the top 15:

To see the complete report, click The Global Gender Gap Report 2010

However, gender inequality still exists and it is not solely the fault of ‘evil’ men but the ‘patriarchal’ society in general, which by the way includes women. Certainly, there are women who are more chauvinist than their macho counterparts. And then there are those who pursue their self-serving interests in the guise of feminism, which eventually contradicts the very essence of equality.

*the Commander. Ironically, it can be interpreted as a term of endearment sometimes used by Filipino men to tell to  OTHERS that their wives are powerful and the ones in control.


Not so comforting

1 Nov

“There was no rest, they have sex with me every minute.  That’s why we’re very tired.  They would allow you to rest only when all of them had already finished.  Due to my tender age, it was a painful experience for me.  Sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening – not only 20 times,” Lola Rosa said.

To date, the Filipina comfort women who followed Lola Rosa’s example number 169 in all, just a minute portion of the 80,000 to 200,000 Asian comfort women who suffered systematic rape, torture, imprisonment ad death at the hands of the Japanese Army during World War II.

Calling her “maestra” or great mentor, the rest of the surviving comfort women vowed to continue what Lola Rosa started.  During the news conference held two days after Lola Rosa’s death, fellow “comfort woman” 70-year-old Pidencia David told reporters that Rosa will always be remembered as the personification of what the comfort women are today:  fighting until death.

“Sana naman ay ibigay na nila ang aming ipinaglalaban hanggang hindi pa kami nauubos [I hope they grant what we are fighting for before we all die],” David saidLifted from Dennis Gorecho’s Remembering Lola Henson published in TODAY newspaper

Sadly, the Philippine Supreme Court has recently denied again the Filipino comfort women’s petition to compel the Executive Branch to take up the cudgels against the Japanese government.

This controversial decision has not broken their spirits. There is an online petition which urgently gathers signatures and support for our Lolas’ quest for justice in time for President Noynoy Aquino’s scheduled visit to Japan on November 14, 2010.

You may check the complete petition and show your support by clicking this link or you may also check it on facebook:

Ang kuwento ng mga Nauna at Nangunang Migrante sa Espanya

29 Oct

Pabalat ng ika-6 na isyu ng Ang Bagong Filipino. Para makakuha ng kopya, i-click lamang ito: Ang Bagong Filipino número 6


Ang paglingon sa pinanggalingan ay labis na pinahahalagahan sa kulturang Filipino. Hindi tayo maaaring lumimot, lalung-lalo na sa mga nagawa at nakamit ng ating mga magigiting na ninuno. Hindi kailanman tayo makakalimot lalo na kung ang galos ng nakaraan ay siya pa ring kumikirot at sanhi ng hindi pag-unlad ng bayan. Sa ating pagkilala at pagtanggap sa pinagmulan, pinatitibay din natin ang ating pagkatao. Pinaalalahanan natin ang sarili na ang ating nakaraan ay hindi naging madali, at ang siyang nagbibigay ng kabuluhan sa ating kasalukuyan.

Ngunit maaari rin kaya na ang kasalukuyan at ang kaniyang patutunguhan ang siya namang magbigay ng kabuluhan sa ating nakaraan? Maaari kaya tayong lumingon nang paharap, matapos matuto sa nakaraan, at piliing sumulong sa halip na magpabalik-balik sa mga panahong nakalipas na?

Ang ating kasaysayan ay napupuno ng iba’t-ibang Pilipinong pumili sa direksiyong ito. Mga kahanga-hangang Pilipinong nanguna sa kanilang mga larangan at kapanahunan sapagkat ninais nilang abutin ang mga pangako ng hinaharap. Walang takot, walang pag-aatubili, na nangarap at kumilos upang tulungang maiangat ang kanilang kapwa tao. Walang tigil silang nagmasid sa higit pang malayo upang mas mainam na maihanda ang kasalukuyang landas patungo sa isang maginhawang bukas. Ang mga PIONEERS, o ang mga nanguna, kung sila ay tawagin, ang mga karapat-dapat na halimbawa sa patuloy nating pagsulong, at siyang makapagbibigay ng kahulugan sa lahat ng ating napagdaanan. Ang isyung ito ay isang pagkilala sa lahat ng mga Pilipinong matapang na nauna at nangunguna sa pagtahak sa hindi tiyak na hinaharap.

Lubos na nagpapasalamat ang Ang Bagong Filipino sa suporta ng mga sumusunod:

CBN Grupo BDO Remit

Platinum Care

Bar Taberna La Paloma/Supermercado M & M

Pang-sports na, Pang-friendship pa!

28 Oct

Everyone is invited to watch the Philippine Basketball Friendship Games in Spain (Ambassador’s Cup) this Sunday, October 31, 9:00am – 8:00pm at Can Ricart Municipal Esportiu del Raval, Barcelona, Spain.

You have six teams to cheer on: Andorra, Ibiza, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Marbella, and the defending champion Barcelona!

New KALIPI leaders inducted

20 Oct

by Aodh Matthew Visitación Patrimonio

Induction of new KALIPI leaders presided by Ms. Gaëlle Laloy, Casa Asia’s person in charge for Asian communities in Spain. Photo by Thezz Saulog

The Kapulungan ng mga Lider Pinoy sa Barcelona (KALIPI), the umbrella organization of different socio-civic and religious organizations within the Filipino community in Barcelona held its induction for the set of newly elected officers for biennial term 2010 – 2012 on the 15th of October 2010 in Barcelona.

Headed by the President-elect Fr. Avelino Sapida, they were inducted into office by Ms Gaëlle Patin Laloy, Responsable de la Comunidad Asiática en Barcelona, Casa Asia.  The induction ceremony also featured a symbolic turn over of candle, key, logo and journal.

In his inaugural address, Fr. Avel delineated the two-fold nature of KALIPI, stemming from the nature of the organizations that comprise it.  It is basically a religious and socio-civic entity, the essence of which can be summed up in ‘having faith in God and being good, law-abiding citizens who put God above all and lending importance to faith and morals.  He exhorted all leaders present to be always in contact with all the members in representing the organizations because the strength of KALIPI emanates from the strength of the individual organizations.

He also underscored the nature of the representations of organization.  It is not a matter of the person present in the meetings but the organization that they represent.  If the organizational head does not forge a good relationship with its constituents, this would mean a failure in the leadership and the subsequent representation.

He also lauded the outgoing president, Pastor Diosdado Sabado of the Word International Ministry for his efforts and personal sacrifices just to carry out his obligations to KALIPI and he hoped to be able to direct the organization with such avidity citing that a good leader is a good servant as well.

The others inducted to office were:  Nico Cueto (Vice President), Paulita Marina Astillero (Secretary), Jennifer Masilang Adarlo (Treasurer), Pastor Diosdado Sabado (Auditor), Millet Chipongian (Cultural Committee Head), Macrina Alcedo (Political Committee Head), Manrico García (Social Committee Head) and Bishop Felicísimo Corder (Spiritual Committee Head).

Leaders of different Filipino associations in Barcelona which make up KALIPI together with (L-R) Consul General Eduardo José de Vega, Ms. Gaëlle Laloy and Fr. Avelino Sapida, new  KALIPI President.

We had the worst of both worlds?

7 Oct

“Most ex-presidents and former prime ministers devote their lives to making a positive difference in the world, or at least fade away into obscurity. Here are former leaders who have done neither.”

Philippines:  Ex-President Joseph Estrada

Action-movie-star-turned-president Joseph Estrada was ousted in 2001 after serving less than half his term amid a flurry of corruption charges. Estrada has also admitted to having numerous children out of wedlock and reportedly made crucial policy decisions with the help of a “midnight cabinet” of old drinking buddies.

Spain:  Ex-Prime Minister José María Aznar

Aznar has suggested that Muslims apologize for the medieval occupation of Spain, called efforts at interfaith dialogue stupid, and called the U.S. election of an African-American president “a historic exoticism and predictable economic disaster.”

Keep reading Joshua E. Keating\’s Bad Exes on Foreign Policy

Madz in Madrid!

5 Oct

At the UNESCO Auditorium in Paris during the ceremonies designating the group as “Artists for Peace” on 27 July 2009.

A night of world-class Filipino talent, for free.

The Philippine Madrigal Singers or ‘Madz’, named ‘Artists for Peace’ by UNESCO in 2009 and conferred recently with the ‘Guidoneum Award’ in Arezzo, Italy will give a free concert in Madrid, Spain.

The concert will be held on  19 October 2010, Tuesday, 8 p.m. at Templo Eucarístico Diocesano de San Martin, Calle Desengaño, 26, Madrid.

This event is organized by the Philippine Embassy in Madrid in collaboration with ANFE San Martin.

Thanks to Ms. Connie Marquez of OWWA Madrid for the alert.

¡Trabajo! ¡Trabajo!

4 Oct

Empresa filipina de turismo busca a un/a becario/a para trabajar en su sede de Manila durante un año.

El candidato/a debe tener experiencia en la industria turística, interés por Asia y Filipinas y hablar y escribir correctamente español, tagalo e inglés.

La empresa ofrece un sueldo neto de 500 USD mensuales y el alojamiento cercano a la oficina.

Para más información enviar CV en inglés a a la atención de Juan Luis García.

Calling all our kababayans in Andorra!

30 Sep

No, we’re not giving away free tickets to  Caldea. Caldea is located at Parc de la Mola, 10 Escaldes – Engordany (Andorra)

Philippine Overseas Labor Officers from Madrid will be visiting Andorra this Sunday, October 3, 2010.

What service can you expect?

1) Issuance of OEC for those who are going to the Philippines for vacation (the vacation must not exceed two months from the date of issuance). An OFW is required to bring his original passport with twophotocopies of the first page, original NIE with two photocopies (back and front) and valid OWWA membership (if no longer valid, OFW can renew it by paying the OWWA fee of Euro 19.48 (which is good for two years), The OEC will exempt them from paying the travel tax of Php 1,650.00 and terminal fees of Php 750.00.

2) Work contract verification (Euro 13.00 processing fee)

3) Orientation on OWWA programs and services -insurance benefits, health care program, repatriation program, education and training benefits, etc.

4) Renewal of OWWA membership (fee is Euro 19.58 – in Sept. however, this amount would either increase or decrease – depending on the Euro-Dollar reference rate.)

5) Guidance and counseling re labor related concerns.


FILAND Office, C/Verge del Pilar n° 5,

Galeries Plaza, Escala B, 2° 2a

AD500 Andorra la Vella

October 3, 2010 / 3 d’Octubre 2010

starting 9 A.M. up to… / des de les 9 del matí fins…

See you all / us esperem.



Hans-Peter Holbach

Cónsul a.h.

Sasama ka ba?

28 Sep

Hindi Ganyan. Mas madali at murang pagtatanggal. Hindi lumilikha ng trabaho. Abusong kontraktuwalisasyon. Mas kapangyarihan para sa mga may-ari ng kompanya. Hindi pagtaas sa pensyon. Pagbabawas sa suweldo at serbisyong pampubliko.  Malawakang Huwelga, sasama ako! Ika-29 Setyembre. CCOO. UGT


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