Refined but notorious, subtle but grim, traditional but revolutionary—this is the empowered Filipina, the vision GABRIELA has upheld with all its fervor and tenacity for the past 25 years.
Organizing has always been an imperative step to provide tools of awareness and camaraderie to women — including but not limited to domestic workers, professionals, and especially those with the simple, often-underrated “job” description of “mother”— leading them to discover their strength. It is that power, lying dormant for too long, which GABRIELA aims to liberate from each and every woman who has been made to accept the idea of being the victim in a society run by the menacing “man’s-world” excuse even up to the present. It is in this light that women have begun to achieve that potent blend of compassion and ability to influence, command and bear the light of an awakening revolution.
Having worked closely with Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment in New York City (FiRE-NYC), one of the four member organizations of the newly-founded GABRIELA-USA, we continue to draw inspiration from each other. We have experienced FiRE’s dynamic approach to finding our identities and being proud of our heritage through joint educational discussions, providing workshops in student conferences throughout the East Coast and storming the streets together and fighting for the rights of our fellow Filipinos and Filipinas here in the belly of the beast. We are truly pleased to have witnessed the growth of FiRE as a successful progressive women’s organization in such a short period of time (2 years!).
With this, we, the Filipino youth from Anakbayan New York/New Jersey, extend our utmost congratulations to FiRE and the rest of the GABRIELA family for this excellent milestone. We salute your persistent unrest as shown in your consistency in addressing women’s issues and upholding women’s rights in the Philippines as well as abroad. We are greatly honored to have you as part of our struggle, our community, and our lives.
Mabuhay ang Pilipina! Sulong, GABRIELA!
Fueled by the power of love and service to the people,
Anakbayan New York/New Jersey
(Statement written by Bea Sabino)