Distinguished Gabrielas

GABRIELA HONOREES “who either helped establish Gabriela or actively participated in national or sectoral organizations which had also contributed in the startup and growth of Gabriela. Whether they are in other sectors or countries, they bring with them the national and democrative standpoint that advances the freedom not only of women but of the entire nation.”

19. SISTER MARY JOHN MANANZAN – With dedication she has served many interests of women with Gabriela for years. Dubbed as “The Activist Nun,” Mary John has been elected as Gabriela’s chairperson for a total of 7 terms, or 18 years. She is the inspiration of the phenomenal movie Sister Stella L.

20. JUDY TAGUIWALO – An activist since her student days in UP, she was detained by the Marcos dictatorship. The Women for the Ouster of Marcos and Boycott (WOMB) and Gabriela campaigned for her freedom. When she was freed in 1986 she organized women. She was a founding member and organizer of AMIHAN (National Federation of Peasant Women) and Executive Director of Center for Women’s Resources. She now teaches in UP and is active in teachers’ organizations.

21. ELIZA TITA LUBI – “I am one of those who had been helped by Gabriela,” said Tita Lubi. Gabriela had actively campaigned for her freedom when she was incarcerated at the Quezon City Jail. She took a crash course on women’s issues from Sister Mary John herself. “Thanks to Gabriela, I was finally set free. Imagine the women members of Gabriela visiting in City Jail. The guards and police must have relished the quietness in their place after I was freed.” Tita Lubi had been known as “mayor” of detainees in Bicutan. When she was freed, she bacame “mayor” of of Gabriela’s international relation work from 1994 to 2003. She was the founding vice-chair of Gabriela Women’s Party.

22. DR. CAROL PAGADUAN-ARAULLO – Chairperson of BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance), she’s “truly a doctor to our nation,” said Gabriela. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo replied that before she became an activist, she first became aware through an education on women’s liberation movement. “Although it might not seem apparent to Gabriela, I am struck deeply by women’s issues. I will cherish this (Gabriela) award. I hope I am now a bona fide honorary member of Gabriela.”

23. EMMI DE JESUS – Gabriela’s indefatigable secretary general (now vice-chair), Emmi de Jesus is founding member of Samakana in 1983 and founding member of Gabriela in 1984. From 1986 to 1994 she was part of Gabriela’s National Secretariat as Campaigns Director; deputy secretary-general from 1998 to 2003. Emmi is Gabriela’s “affectionate mother and skillful leader.”

24. REP. LUZVIMINDA ILAGAN – Educator from Ateneo de Davao, she’s a pioneer of women’s rights in Mindanao even before the founding of Gabriela. As pictures of her in action during those pioneering years in Mindanao were being flashed before the nationwide gathering of Gabriela friends and members, she gracefully accepted her award and said “I didn’t recognize myself 25 lbs ago.”

25. REP. LIZA MAZA – International relation officer of Gabriela in 1986, she became the first woman representative under Bayan Muna party list in Congress in 2001, and under the Gabriela Women’s Party List in 2004. Gabriela is now eyeing the Senate for Liza Maza. (With report from JANESS ANN ELLAO)
Bulatlat (Bulatlat.com)

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