|Monday, November 7, 2005|| |
7 Nov 2005 @ 21:03
I just returned from GABNET's National Confrence co-hosted by UCLA SAMAHANG PILIPINO:
DEFINING OURSELVES, SHAPING OUR REALITY:
THE ISMs THROUGH WOMEN’S EYES
A National Conference for Filipinas and Allies
November 4-6, 2005
UCLA Los Angeles, CA
Where do we fit, how do we see ourselves, how do we navigate as Filipinas, activists and/or allies in America? Gather your ideas, discuss with friends and relatives, and bring them to Los Angeles in November!
From November 4 to 6, 2005, GABRIELA Network and UCLA Samahang Pilipino will host a historic conference that will gather together over 500 women of Philippine ancestry and their allies. The national conference will be at the University of California, Los Angeles. There will be workshops, plenaries and opportunities for networking. At the end of the conference, participants will have the opportunity to take part in forming a plan of action to address specific issues that have been identified.
RELEVANCE OF SUCH A CONFERENCE. Women of Philippine ancestry comprise over 55% of the overall 2.36 million Filipinos in the United States. They tend to fill the ranks of the service industry mainly as nurses, domestic workers, and clerks. With more than half of women being first generation immigrants, there must be a comprehensive understanding of policies that govern migration from the Philippines. An analysis of push-pull forces, particularly root causes of migration, economic development plans, and the concrete situation in host countries like the United States.
Women of Philippine ancestry contribute to American society on a number of levels--political, economic, cultural, and social. Despite these successes, Filipinas have not been without struggle in the United States. Filipinas are still the target of racism, discrimination, sexism, exploitation, and violence. Many women face harsh or unjust working conditions, often being overworked and underpaid, especially for the levels of education they have. For example, although roughly 40% of Filipinas have a college degree, many are unable to find work in their areas of study. Filipinas have some of the highest domestic violence rates in the United States and the highest suicide rate among youth ages 14 to 25. Furthermore, although there is large participation of women of Philippine ancestry in mainstream America, there remains invisibility in terms of representation in media, culture, and education. Thus, given the lack of information on the experience of women of Philippine ancestry in the United States, it is necessary to come together for the purpose of learning and exchanging ideas and histories as well as taking action.
It was great to experience this event with my eldest sister, Carolina. It was our first time with radically political Filipinas.
I hope the keynote speakers:
Congresswoman, Liza Lagoza Maza (GABRIELA Woman's Party)
Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, GABRIELA Philippines
Judith Mirkinson, WAIL
Dorotea Mendoza, Secertary General, Gabriela Network, USA
Have their presentations up on the net so you can experience them yourselves.
I am still processing all the data shared!
| 7 Nov 2005 @ 23:11|
All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004.
By Patricia Ward Biederman and Jason Felch
Times Staff Writers
November 7, 2005
The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.
Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church's former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.
In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and 1991's Gulf War, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas said that "good people of profound faith" could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support.
But he criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, "Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster."
On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that "a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church … " The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections. More >
| 7 Nov 2005 @ 22:39|
The PURPLE ROSE CAMPAIGN is an international campaign initiated by GABRIELA to raise awareness on the issue of sex trafficking of Filipino women and children: the brutal control exercised over women and children victims; the high incidence of violence and the tremendous self-sacrifice the women undergo to ensure the economic survival of their families in the Philippines. It shall provide a means by which everyone and anyone can express disapproval and opposition against the use of the sex trade and forced labor as a means of propping up the collapsing economy.
The campaign is also a way to express support for the women and people of the Philippines who seek to change the current situation.
WHY A PURPLE ROSE ICON?
For over 30 years, horticulturists the world over, largely in the West, cross-bred and hybridized roses to create the perfect purple rose. It does not occur in nature and is a created thing. It is no different from any other rose, except it has been exoticized and set apart by human will. It is artificial and yet no different from any other rose: looks the same, smells the same, has thorns, leaves, stems, roots. But it was forced to be different. The purple rose exists not for its own evolutionary purposes but for the pleasure of others.
The same with our women who are forced into becoming a created stereotype (not even a historical stereotype but a deliberately concocted one, to serve the needs of globalization) a thing for other's use. In adapting to that persona, our women suffer immeasurable self denial, as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, as Filipina women.
Just as the Purple Rose is set apart, isolated and denies, to a certain extent, its self as a rose and its affinity with other roses.
GABRIELA is an acronym standing for General Assembly Binding women for Reform, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action. It also commemorates Gabriela Silang, known as one of the first and fiercest women generals in the Philippines who led the longest series of successful revolts against 18th Century Spanish colonizers.
GABRIELA Network (GABNet) is a US-based multi-racial women's solidarity mass organization. We work with GABRIELA Philippines, a national alliance of more than 200 women's organizations. We work on issues that impact women of Philippines ancestry, but which have their roots in the decisions made in the United States. GABNet is an all-volunteer organization of women with chapters in Chicago, Irvine, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco/Bay Area, and Washington, DC.
|Sunday, April 24, 2005|| |
|24 Apr 2005 @ 16:23|
I feel rested today after staying in literally for 24 hrs in sanctuary amidst Los Angeles on the Temple Couch at Laura Janesdaughter's house.
With many threads to bring together - Life in Los Angeles, in Ojai, at the UN, and prepare to return to NY in June as a keynote speaker for FAWN2005 gathering of Filipinas on Leadership and Spirituality.
It will be strange to find myself back in the slip stream. Wondering what life continues to flow and what it will bring - what seeds have sprouted, taken root and prepare to blossom in this season of Beltane.
It is time to make change happen. I look forward to it with new eyes and open heart. The tears that gently fell daily as I made my way to the UN has cleared the way for flowing energy. (Each day I marveled at how humans could bring themselves into an urban setting of concrete.)
My good friend Marta lost her father (he lived a good 96 years). Death touches me, brushing ever close to remind me to celebrate this thing called Life.
I was up again at 5AM. Doesn't matter what time zone, by body seems to adjust to the local time. I get to see the sun rise another day with great gratitude and appreciation for all that comes to me.
Off to se what the day will bring.
|Friday, April 22, 2005|| |
|22 Apr 2005 @ 14:36|
When I began this journey, I was unclear what I might bring home with me. Each day I would start out in Brooklyn, walking the streets where cultures converge, orthodox jews, chinese and hispanic (not sure what countries are represented here). It is a harsh reality of concrete and metal bars, with lights on throughout the night, so one cannot see stars.
I cried each day, sometimes in the morning on my way in, sometimes on my way home. So little of nature - though I do recall the pale pink blooming mystery tree that stands caged on 47th St. And there were buds arising out of concrete planters, caged as well.
I miss the the natural flow of light to dark and light again. Rising before the sun, sleeping when the body and mind are tired.
Today I wanted to be sure to get to the NGO Caucus meeting. The Seceretary General made another and last appearance to the meeting. He had good news and news. The good news was that after all the intensity of the two weeks, many of us were still smiling. The news is that even after a late night (1:30AM) negotiating session, there still is no completed document. He is committed to having a document by the close of his tenure at 6PM today. His stated regret is that he and the delegates will not have time to move into actions in this last session.
If I were to really take a look at what the global conversation is about, it is about our basic humanity. I feel hopeful and heartened at the way people of diversity commit to live in peace.
It has been an exciting CSD process with many firsts. The public sector was able to interact with the delegates, giving their input and statements on the floor into record.
When I get home, I will have more time to write. Off to say my goodbyes.
|Thursday, April 21, 2005|| |
|21 Apr 2005 @ 13:32|
Clearly there is much more to the CSD process than meets the eyes and ears of a new comer. I spend much of my time listening to articulate language watching the faces of those also listening, some nodding in agreement or shaking their heads vigorously.
NGO representatives, sitting in the arena, high above the delegates pass notes, make faces and have side converstaions. Cell phones go off, with some evening having coversations in hushed whispers. Its a good thing there are those funny ear phones to listen through.
The realities of responsibilities, things set aside for this 2 week period begin to shake up my consciousness. I know the integration of all that has happened, the information I am bringing home with me. How I can share it, use it to inspire, conspire and motivate myself and others to stay connected to our deep values. It is here that we connect to all of life.
Water...is life (smile) a phrase that has been repeated over and over again during these past days here in the CSD process. The United States has taken a position that Water is a moral issue, not a human rights issue. In using this language, the US - we as a country/government/world citizen, do not feel issues of water, access, pollution, etc are issues for the courts - meaning, one would not be able to bring legal action against business, corporations, governments or individuals who damage water sources by pollution, poor business practices, etc. Or would there be any recourse for individuals, groups, people in developing countries to require government to meet their commitments as stated in the MDG's [link] as
agreed upon by member states in the UN.
So often as I made my way to the UN and back, I wondered what my part in all of this is. LOL, well I will continue to share with you my awakenings. When I know, you will too..stay tuned for more...
|Wednesday, April 20, 2005|| |
|20 Apr 2005 @ 13:04|
I thought to post more from this trip...and as Life has her way of organizing events, timing, people, etc in the perfect right pace, it seems I am not able to access my email in the ways I would have liked.
I am in fact posting this blog entry in the basement of the UN awaiting the NGO coalition briefing. It will be the first one I am attending, but I expect a lively conversation to take place.
Last night at the Women's Caucus, the issues of wording needing to be addressed by the women was framed by a summary of thoughts that have been building and adjusting over the course of the process that began on Monday, April 12.
As a new participant, this all seems overwhelming. So much information, so many people. The range of emotion I find myself traveling through during the day has me restless and tired by the time I reach FC2 47th St, Brooklyn. The trip from the UN to Brookln takes about 1.5 hrs each way (including train and walking).
People of all colors, languages and ages flow through the halls. In a strange way I feel at home with this process. I often find myself flashing on Star Trek, with all the different alien species on board ships, working together.
More later....the process begins. Marta will arrive soon and I will get another dose of orienting myself in this international arena.
|Wednesday, December 15, 2004|| |
|15 Dec 2004 @ 03:50|
It seems so long since I have posted. I am distracted by many things in life. Many details undone. I wonder am I running away, or running to that next phase of awakening.
My heart seems filled with paradoxical feelings. Thoughts rule, when Knowing seems to speak a different reality.
Winter is almost here. A meteor shower splashes wishes across the dark night sky. Do I dare speak the truth, share the need, not as a victim, but simply as one born in a body filled with humanity? Can I even whisper the ache that has been in my heart? On the surface, old pain piled on top of innocence.
I feel as if I will burst, dying to Life.
How long have I tried to escape, to ignore what needs doing, to let go, to come home, to trust... Love?
|Thursday, September 30, 2004|| |
|30 Sep 2004 @ 14:30|
Alternet included two stories today regarding women and the election that I found really interesting. The first one was A new report from Anna Greenberg dispells the myth of the
Here is Myth 3. Women are more worried about security than men. Women tend to be more worried about their personal and economic security than men, which is not surprising because they are more likely to be victims of crime at home and they are more likely to live on the economic margins. But this concern about personal security does not necessarily translate into political preferences. In fact, men are much more likely to make the war on terrorism and security a part of their voting calculus.
Take a look at the full story here or The full report at the originating website
Another interesting story was WHAT WOMEN WANT by Rose Aguilar
Contrary to the media babble about 'security moms,' the
issues most important to women voters are also John Kerry's
greatest strengths. Check for the full story here
Rose Aguilar co-produces Your Call on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and runs News We Can Use, a web site about women's issues and politics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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