April 21, 2024

Let’s start with a prayer: “Think, O’ God, of our friend who is ill, whom we now commend to Your compassionate regard. Comfort him/her upon his/her sickbed, and ease his/her suffering. We beg for deliverance, and submit that no healing is too hard if it be Your will. We therefore pray that You bless our friend with Your loving care, renew his/her strength, and heal what ails him/her in Your loving name.”

Despite the fact that women compose about half the world’s population, there still seems to be a yawning gap when it comes to equality of the sexes especially in some countries. More often than not, the female side of the human species usually ends up at the lower rung of the societal totem pole. Unfair. Again, this gap varies from one country to another; quite unfortunate in these so-called modern times when we are supposed to be civilized. As the saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” How sad.
In some countries, women are treated like second-class citizens, or worse, even chattel or men’s personal properties. In others, women are treated with greater respect and are given all, or almost all, the opportunities given their male counterparts. Fortunately, our beloved nation of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos, is among these more “enlightened” countries where both sexes are on equal (or almost equal) footing.
Heck, the Philippines has already had two female presidents and maybe more in the future. That’s two more than the United States, the so-called bastion of democracy that seems to have this macho discriminatory attitude against having women leading their oncegreat nation. At least they haven’t changed Lady Liberty into a man. Not yet, anyway.
Well, March happens to be Women’s Month with this year’s theme, “Juana laban sa pandemya: Kaya!” According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, this year’s celebration serves as a tribute, a platform, and a call to action that highlights the extraordinary roles of ordinary Juanas in society as trailblazers and harbingers of change.
It is also a venue to discuss and address the issues that women continue to face so empowerment can be fully achieved. The campaign is a call for concrete, sustainable, and inclusive actions toward gender equality, the DILG said. Hooray for women!

Here’s “Invisible, Part X” by Gabriel Baban Keith: “Are you an Ibaloy in Baguio?/ What happened?/ You are a stranger in the home of/ your fathers — a mere follower to others/ more aggressive, connected, united./ You are a true child of Bag-iw, uninvited./ Lost in your own home./ Un-supported by your own./ Are you an Ibaloy in Baguio?/ What happened?/ Is this the price you pay/ for being ‘shy mangu’?/ How long will you stay silent/ before screaming, “Noway?”

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.