DOST PSTC SIQUIJOR spent the last day of March 2022 still for women. Two of its personnel represented DOST in the PLGU-SIQUIJOR-sponsored fun run to cap the month-long celebration for women.
Initially, the office upgraded its show booth of IEC materials about and for women. Copies were printed on Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004; Republic Act 8353 (The Anti-Rape Law of 1997); Republic Act 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995), and; Republic Act 9208 as amended by RA 10364 (The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 as amended by the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012. Women visitors would find these materials at a nook in the office for reading and for taking. In front of each folder that stashes copies of these laws, statements in bold letters are written: “A woman is next closer to God. Her dignity is sacred.”
Highlighting the show booth is a poem which a staff had written and pasted inside a blue folder. It reads:
From the hands of God
You came to be
A glorious creation
Wonderfully and fearfully made.
You are a woman
In your womb, you nurture life
In your heart, you strengthen love
In your soul, you unveil beauty
In your mind, you create adventure
In your hands, you hold justice
With your strength, you face challenges –
And conquer them.
You are a woman – and you are a conqueror!
With your presence
We come closer to God
That is your dignity
Primordial and immortal
For who you are
We thank you.
On the other hand, DOST personnel found time to attend virtual fora on women, namely: “Women at the Frontline of Climate Change” on March 8; Gender & Development Seminar (sponsored by CDA intended for Cooperative Officers where Siquijor PSTD Engr. Mario E. de la Peńa sits as a member of the Board of the DOST Employees Multi-purpose Cooperative on March 15; “Kababayen-an Taliwala sa Katalagman” on Mar 18. and; “Meet Your Scientist: Game-changing Women of Science” (sponsored by NAST) on March 22.
Mounting of streamers was also done. In front of the DOST PSTC SIQUIJOR hang the streamer AGENDA NG KABABAIHAN TUNGO SA KAUNLARAN (2022 National Women’s Month Celebration: We Make Change for Women) and the streamer 18th Women with Disabilities Day (Kababaihang may Kapansanan sa New Normal: Kapantay, Kaisa, at Kasama sa Inklusibong Kaunlaran). At one time, Engr. Mario E. de la Peńa handed in brochures on various laws to women passers-by.
On March 28, Engr. Mario E. de la Peńa gave tribute to the women of DOST during the DOST-7 Women’s Month Program. He said:
Good morning, everyone.
I feel that the right way to begin is to remember that we owe our life to our mother. That is not an understatement to make. That is what we can say as our greatest tribute to her.
Someone said that a woman holds half of the sky. That could only mean that her life is as invaluable as that of a man.
History, however, is unkind to women. Women were looked down as subordinates to men, even to their husbands, and so they were stripped off of their rights – their education, their work, their hearts, their minds, and their creativity.
But like a phoenix which rises, the woman rose to celebrate her rightful place in a family, in church, in society, in politics, in science, and in every field where talent counts more than one’s natural accident of a genital.
Right now, women have become a force to reckon with. They have even become trailblazers in their creativity. For the past webinars that we have attended, women are shown to be indispensable in their scientific inventions. I must assume you recall a student from Leyte who is now studying astronomy in a university in America.
Well, I could only say that there is much to expect from a woman. Gone are the days where a woman had not been treated as equals. Equals not because of same endowments of men but because the truth of the matter, which should have been right instilled in our common sense, is that achievement defies natural accidents, but born out of one’s dedication to hard work, excellence, and persistence.
The story of Creation reminds us that woman is taken from a man. Nothing in this story would tell us that a woman should be taken AWAY from man.
Have we ever wondered why there is a woman? Look around you. The answers are there.
For me, the woman is here because without her, my mother would not have raised me well. That is my simple stance about a woman.
And then, I came to know that in fact, a woman is next closer to God. So I step back and I offer my respect to her.
Inequality before God? No, to do that is a man’s glorious act of honoring a woman. In a word, that is decency.
So my dear women, stand right up where you belong. If you choose to be a scientist…go on. Build your story. I can clap at the side and we can talk about it sooner.
Who knows the next President could be a woman?
As of the moment, I would like to end by saying. Woman, you are glorious!
On the same day, Elena Tuale Ibera of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor was awarded as one of the four winners of DOST-7’s Most Gender Resilient and Gender Responsive Woman Entrepreneur for 2022. The title of the her story is: “Elena’s Bakery: Kneading a Crisp Recipe for Income and Employment” which was written by a staff of DOST SIQUIJOR PSTC.
Without tiring, DOST SIQUIJOR PSTC, through Mr. Jose Aldous R. Arbon II, shared with LGU-Siquijor VAW-C Desk Officers a talk on ‘Values Formation: What Values are Important in Dispensing with the Duties as VAW-C Desk Officers’ sponsored by MSWDO on March 30.
As initiator and participant of various women-related activities, DOST PSTC SIQUIJOR made the entire month of March 2022 a magnanimous time for women in Siquijor and in the whole country.
Again, nothing would change the stance of DOST that a woman is next closer to God and that her dignity is sacred.
By: Jose Aldous Rubi Arbon II