February 2, 2023

Last week’s column was about women’s liberation and this time, we continue to honor them in celebration of Women’s Month.
The hall-of-famers, of course, are the women in my life: my mother, grandmother, wife and her mother, daughters, cousins, aunts, and lady friends to whom we likewise pay tribute to.
My mother, Mely, the stern public school teacher who taught us good manners and right conduct. Lola Inggay from the old rustic town of Moncada, Tarlac who played mahjong and sakla while dangling alahambra cigars with the burning tip inside her mouth like an ashtray.
Lola Sergia from Asin, Tuba Benguet was an Ibaloy at the forefront in their quest for recognition of ancestral claims.
Norma Arevalo who inherited the music industry from her mother and carried it on to her daughters.
Menggay, Ysa, and Betchay had the traits and genes of their ancestors, silent but fiery fighters.
Lady doctor friends and lawyer-practitioners, prosecutors, judges, bankers, businesswomen everywhere.
Of course, Bernie, the wife has made a big difference in our lives and celebrates her birthday Tuesday of next. Born in Makati, schooled in Paco, Manila and Holy Family Academy, where she proved not only to be an outstanding honor student, but a leader in the music and academic industry.
To friends and employees, whom she deals with, with open, helping arms at a ready. A firm believer of the Catholic faith and in mankind and humanity, the sacrifices, tears and joy and laughter made her a strong icon of the family, hers and ours as sisters Kays and Atang will attest.
She is chief executive officer of Musar, managing sales of instruments and devices, online teaching of music teachers, artists in their own rights with different idiosyncrasies and temperaments but she breezes through it with not a sign of wariness. A superwoman to Tatan, Enzo, and Betchay who are naughty but lovable brats. We join them in saying happy birthday mom-mom!
Helen Reddy who wrote the lyrics for “I Am Woman” in the ‘70s addressed her song which unexpectedly became a beacon and theme song of the liberated feminist. In my circle of friends and family, all the women proved to be “strong” in their own little way contrary to the misogynistic view of men who are strongly prejudiced against women – that women are weak and men are stronger then. The message of the song speaks volumes. Hear them roar because they are strong, invincible, women.
And so, it went that the modern ladies went from stay at home to careers in law, medicine, business, banking, hotel and restaurant management, and Rotary and Lions clubs.
Baguio Midland Courier publisher and reporters, engineering any and all other fields taking inspiration on the equality between men and women, the song messaged-roar.
Suddenly, the character flaw that men suspected of every woman was not there and the men were more than willing to share the glory with the women.
Chapo’ to all you ladies out there. Sigh!