HAPI’s First Female ED

Posted by admin | Posted on December 21, 2015

Redefining “Dalagang Filipina”: Women Leaders of HAPI

Down-to-Earth Humanism: Jennifer Gutierrez, HAPI Executive Director
Jennifer
Gutierrez is a lovely young Filipina with a Maria Clara-esque aura
about her. However, her physical attributes aside, this fearless
caver/astronomy enthusiast/poet/cosplayer/environmental advocate, with
her Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Ecosystems Management from the De La Salle University, and her own SEC-registered NGO dedicated to promoting cave conservation and protection, has very little in common with Rizal’s passive heroine.  Visit her caving adventures in her blog here.
Gutierrez,
with her library of a house and overflowing collection of bladed
weaponry, is the epitome of an empowered woman, and our newly instated
Executive Director.
We asked her to tell us her HAPI story.
How we got here:

“When
HAPI was first created, Ms. M invited me to join, but I was very
reluctant because I got turned off by some atheist groups’ culture. You
see them bashing one another, and they were very unruly. It’s very
unbecoming that they promote reason but act uncultured. I think I can
remember saying ‘no time’ (sorry Ms. M!), since I was still an active
board director of the Philippine Astronomical Society who was very much
busy with our own activities and lectures.
A
year after that, about the same time now, Mr. Joey Zialcita, HAPI’s
then-Executive Director invited me to be a resource speaker for an
astronomy lecture. I said yes to the meeting which was supposed to
happen in a piano bar near my place, but I invited them to my home
instead. Present were Don Paez, Gian Joaquin and Ricky Maramba. It was
followed by another meeting just 2 days after at the Manila Hotel.
There, we conceptualized how we would do our first astronomy lecture
(Space Safari link here), and everything is history.  It seemed like years ago, but it has only been exactly one year.”