HAPI in Celebration of International Women’s Month 2020
Written by Maria Juana Valenzuela
March 29, 2020
Las Piñas City, Philippines
“The women in my community are the most powerful inspiration.”
This International Women’s Month, Humanist Alliance Philippines International – HAPI is Celebrating Women in every way, shape and form: for their struggles, for their strength, for their power, for their achievements big or small, hell for being a WOMAN.
Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Responsible women who are working hard to make a difference for the betterment of all within the community against prejudice, bigotry, violence, inequality and indoctrination.
I wanted to share what it means to be inspired by strong women.
Marissa Torres Langseth
Founder of HAPI, Chair Emeritus Retired based in NYC USA
“Marissa Torres Langseth, HAPI Founder and Chairperson Emeritus, was the first to openly advocate for a more secular Philippines in the public stage.”
HAPI Executive Secretary and HAPI Central Luzon Lead Convenor
“Bilang pakiki-isa sa Buwan ng Kababaihan saludo ako sa mga naunang nag panday yung mga karapatan nating mga kababaihan ay marinig ganun din ng ating mga anak. Bilang Executive Secretary ng HAPI saludo ako sa ating mga Lola, Nanay, Ate at sa lahat ng kababaihan na patuloy na nagsusulong sa ating mga karapatan.” – Claris
Mary Jane “Mutya” Valenzuela
HAPI Secretariat Operations Manager, HAPI Central Luzon Assistant Lead Convenor
“My life as a woman was never easy I experienced countless times of discrimination at work some company don’t want to accept me as a mechanic because I am a woman. They say I can’t clean brakes, I can’t adjust the valve or can’t overhaul a carburetor. Well I proved them wrong. I know that a lot of women out there are still proving their worth and I salute you I cannot express how proud I am to be WOMAN.” – Mutya
Gwaineth Stefhan Pabinguit
HAPI Dumaguete Youth, Member Association of Young Environmental Journalist
“To all the women out there, never be afraid to step up. Always remember that you can be whoever you want to be. Never let anyone, especially a man, enclose you in a world that he made for his own. You may be belittled, but your capabilities are beyond understanding. Know yourself, build yourself. No one will be there for you until the end, but the woman you build for yourself.” – Gwaii
HAPI Shade Coordinator, HAPI Cebu Assistant Lead Convenor
“To all the women out there, stand still and be proud that you are woman. For the world will cease to exist without us. Keep on fighting for your rights and continue advocating equality to all mankind.” – Arlene
Student and HAPI Bacolod Junior Treasurer
“To all women out there, “you have at least a thousand capacities even you don’t think so”. You are capable of amazing things. It’s okay to make mistakes, to have bad days, to be imperfect, and to be yourself. Always do what’s best for you because your feelings are valid. Stop worrying if other people will like you or not and here’s why: because you’re you and that’s enough. Above all, you deserve to be love because I want you to know how very important you are. So to all the women out there, keep going, you’ve got this.” – Francine
Rachel Carlaine Lim
Eventologist. Cat-lover. Chef. Cebuana
“Everyone has different backgrounds and nothing is as perfect as it seems. In the past I’ve learned to be resentful and hard on myself. Little did I know that this was just an opportunity to come out of it stronger and to be more forgiving of oneself and others, and it’s still a journey.
Sometimes what we know is limited due to nature and nurture, so a lot of understanding and work is required to break any toxic cycle. I always echo my favorite mentors, author Elizabeth Gilbert and psychologist Dr. Phil, that “this too shall pass” and that “we must behave our way to success” in terms of personal and professional life.
As women we have it a bit tougher, society and our culture unconsciously puts us at the back burner and prioritizes the men in terms of opportunity in the workplace, education and other aspects of life. What we were conditioned to learn in society is not our fault as children, but as adults we are accountable for how we choose to live life differently for the better.
Most importantly, being a strong woman also means we can show vulnerability, we are human too, we go through so many highs and lows, we just do the best we can.
Having said that, women empowerment to me is not just believing in oneself but also being appreciative, having perspective and respecting equal rights between men and women. I am human first and foremost, but being a woman to me really is the icing on the cake, it’s also fun to be a woman so appreciate yourself more as one.” – Rachel
Student and HAPI Metro Manila Youth Volunteer
“ I really want to say to all women out there na always remember to love yourself and appreciate what you are. Don’t let others words nor people define you, be you and show the world that you’re strong and independent women who can do all things. Believe in yourself and in your abilities. Let yourself be the reason to help the world be better a place.” – E.J
HAPI’s Communications and Promotions Officer
“In Celebration of International Women’s Month, I salute and give honor to all the women who have shape the world we live now as a society that values and recognizes women with equal right and opportunity. We are no longer bounded with the gender – females with weaker strength and capabilities. And presently, I am ever grateful for all the strong women I know, and I’m surrounded with for they inspire me to strive and do better and contribute for the greater good of humanity. I raise my glass to the steadfast women in my life and all over the globe who are very much committed and steadfastly working hard chasing their dreams in this shifting world we live in.” – Lau
ESL Teacher and HAPI Junior Ambassador
“Though we are fierce, being a woman is never easy. I would like to send a message of recognition, motivation, and appreciation to all the women who continuously face battles within their own families and within their communities but refuse to give up. Women will always be nurturers, warriors, and protectors. I have the utmost respect for you all. Let us not be complacent and never forget the fire we have inside of us. Happy International Women’s Month!” – Angie
She could be bruised,
She could be cut.
She could bleed.
She could be put under a broken world,
And still she could heal,
Dust herself off.
And tell you she will be okay,
Because she is built of tougher stuff.