ARD Francis Bringas of DepEd Region IV-A (left), Deputy Director Maria Kristine Josefina Balmes of PCW (center), and RD Luis G. Banua of NEDA Region IV-A (right).

“A strong woman fights for herself, but a stronger woman fights for everyone else,” said Assistant Regional Director Francis Bringas of DepEd Region IV-A, in his welcome remarks during the recently concluded 2018 Calabarzon Regional Women’s Month Celebration held on March 20 at Joaquin Chipeco Hall, Jose Rizal Memorial Elementary School, Barangay Sais, Calamba City. The celebration was graced by Ms. Laverne Chipeco, the wife of Mayor Justin Marc Chipeco of Calamba City, and Engr. Ladislao Andal, the Regional Development Council Co-Chairperson.

Deputy Director Maria Kristine Josefina Balmes of the Philippine Commission on Women, in her keynote message, highlighted the importance of the celebration as a collective effort in localizing Magna Carta of Women. The theme “We Make Change Work for Women” is anchored on the administration’s commitment of true compassion or “Malasakit” and real change or “Pagbabago”. Coinciding with the administration’s term, the theme will be used from 2017 to 2022.

Director Balmes addressed the contestants of the poster-making contest, one of the activities of the Celebration, to engage themselves even at their young age to contribute to the country’s pursuit for “Malasakit at Pagbabago”. She also acknowledged the confidence and abilities of contenders in Juana Got Talent, a talent competition for women government employees, and encouraged them to show the world that women are indeed reservoir of talents.

Inspiring Women Stories from Dr. Marita Canapi of URS and Ms. Maria Corazon Rubio of SDO Lucena City.

A talk show on Inspiring Women Stories was also conducted with Dr. Marita Canapi, President of the University of Rizal System and Ms. Maria Corazon Rubio of DepEd Lucena City who shared their struggles, accomplishments and insights as successful leaders in their field to hopefully inspire and encourage other women to be the best version of themselves for their family, community, and the country. There were also other activities during the Celebration such as parade, exhibit of artworks of students from Laguna State Polytechnic University and Southern Luzon State University, film showing for elementary students and Serbisyo Para kay Juana which provided free services for women like haircut, manicure and pedicure, and massage by TESDA.

Regional Director Luis Banua of NEDA Region IV-A and the Regional GAD Committee (RGADC) Chairperson, in his closing message shared that despite the accomplishments of the region on gender mainstreaming, GAD advocacies still need to be expanded and deepened. He articulated his vision for the region to continuously fight for gender equality and women empowerment, saying that “We hope that the acknowledgement of the contribution of women in our society doesn’t end today. Let’s bring with us the joy of knowing women’s worth of which our continuous efforts are anchored on”.

Engr. Ladislao Andal, RDC Co-Chairperson leads the parade during the celebration.
Participants in the 2018 Regional Women’s Month Celebration.

A total of 575 GAD partners from regional and national agencies, state universities and colleges, DepEd Schools Division, and local government units participated in the said event. The Celebration is an annual activity of the RDC through its RGADC. DepEd Region IV-A turned over the hosting of the next year’s celebration to Batangas Province.

Angela R. Llamas | March 23, 2018