One Billion Rising 2017 Women of Faith Renew Commitment for Just and Lasting Peace

obr-2017 WE are mothers, wives, grandmothers, religious, women pastors and priests, deaconesses, lay women, youth and adults who join the Filipino people in search for just and lasting peace. Bonded by our faith, we renew our commitment to LOVE our neighbour by seeking and pursuing peace based on justice.

On the occasion of One Billion Rising (OBR), the ecumenical women join the throng of women around the world in rising up in solidarity against exploitation. We break and disrupt the norm of silence amidst glaring violence of injustice, exploitation and oppression. They are the customary mold of systems and structures in our society that gave rise to  poverty, feudal bondage, landlessness, human trafficking, privatization of health care and education that leave poor ones in the margins – neglected and excluded. The  women in the margins are  the ones most affected with the poverty. While the Philippines was ranked 5th out of 136 countries  in terms of gender equality in economics, health, politics, and education in 2013,  Filipino women are  still victims of discrimination.

‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. ( Jer. 6:14b)

There  is no peace when there is poverty, exploitation, oppression and discrimination.

There is no peace when the roots of  armed conflict are not addressed. In prayerful reflection and deep analysis, we see that there is unpeace because of massive and dismal poverty, sinful distribution of wealth and control over the   resources needed for livelihood, widespread injustice, and corruption in the bureaucracy.

These are the very conditions that make the illegal drug trade proliferate in the  communities  and make the poor ones victims of both trades and the  “policy “ of “Tokhang,”  the program of  neutralizing by killing drug-addicted people, small-time peddlers, and even the non-users who were simply suspected of being drug users and peddlers. This ineffective campaign took the lives of innocent people specially children who were considered as “collateral” damage. The poor   became easy targets and victims of corruption and abuses by those who are in position of authority,  especially by those who are armed.

 There is no peace when women, and the workers and advocates of  justice and peace   are imprisoned.  There are more than 400 persons languishing in jail simply because they exercise their democratic, civil, and political rights. Among those  in detention  are 130 sickly and ill, 33 are women, 33 elderly and 49 who have already been detained for 10 or more years.

But, we are hopeful that just and lasting peace is possible no matter how arduous the road is to its fulfillment. We, the women of faith, believers of Justice and Peace,, will always   support  the Peace Talks  between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front for the welfare and greater good of every Filipino, specially the young and the future generation.

We believe in the validity of the agenda of peace talks in addressing the roots of the armed conflict. We trust in the agenda of respect for human rights and international humanitarian laws, social and-economic reforms, patriotic and people-oriented constitutional reforms, and the cessation of hostilities.

We will not give up our HOPE  for Just and Lasting Peace until it is fulfilled!

We rise for Just and Lasting Peace

We disrupt   the ways  that  would fetter our dream  for a   Just and Lasting Peace!

We connect with all women for Just and Lasting Peace!##

 

Ecumenical Women’s Forum (EWF)

Feb. 11, 2017

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry-Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines , Diliman, Quezon City

 

 

Liturhiyang Gabay sa Kapaskuhan

pasko

( Inihanda ng AWIT-UTS para sa Promotion of Church People’s Response BalikTanaw)

Tahimik na Paghahanda/ Himig ng Musika:

Tawag sa Pagsamba: (open for your suggestions)

+ Pambungad na Pamaskong Awitin: (open for your choice of song)

Litaniya sa Pasko:

(Bata) :

Makukulay na dekorasyon sa bawat tahanan; Tugtugang pamasko sa magagarang sasakyan

Lechon at keso sa darating na handaan

Tatanggap ng bagong kasuotan, salapi’t, kagamitan

 

Ito wari ang paskong turo ng kapitalismo; Sa mga bilihing doble at higit ang tubo

Dagdag pa ang pagsang-ayon ng pasistang gobyerno

Kaya’t nilamon ang tunay na diwa ng pasko

 

Pasko na naman ng Batang Lansangan (Kabataan)

Ang inosenteng kahulugan ng pasko sa mumunting mga bata

Makatanggap ng handog at puno ng kendi ang mga bulsa

Pag-asa na kahit minsan isang taon sila ay maging masaya

Isa nanamang pasko na nasa lansangan pa din sila!

 

Muli gugunitain ang isinilang na Hesu Kristo sa sabsaban

Kasabay ay isisilang ang bata sa may kariton sa lansangan

Hindi pinahintulutan ng Diyos na siya’y walang ama

Ngunit madami ang batang sa parehas na magulang ay ulila

 

Sa murang edad namulat sa hindi makataong trato ng estado

Kumakalam ang sikmura sa maghapong pagbabanat buto

Walang maayos na damit pananggalang sa init at lamig

Wala ring mapayapang sisilungang bubong sa magdamag

 

Ilang pasko na ba ang ganito’y kanilang nararanasan?

Ilang pasko pa ba ang kanilang bibilangin?

Pag-asa pa rin ba ang mensahe ng kapaskuhan?

Sa mga batang palaboy-laboy sa lansangan?

 

Pasko na naman ng mga Kababaihan (Kababaihan)

 

Ang mga kababaihan ang pinakaabala sa tuwing kapaskuhan

Sila rin ba ang pinakamasaya sa tuwing sasapit ang malaking handaan?

Siguro nga dahil sa mga ngiti nila at malalakas na halakhakan

Ngunit gaano tayo kasigurado sa ating sariling pamantayan?

 

Ang babaeng tinitimbang sa kanyang ginagalawan

Ikinakahon sa mapaghusga at mapanuring lipunan

At isinasailalim sa dikta ng huwad na panginoon

Bunsod sa sakmal ng pyudal na konserbatibo sa kababaihan

 

Ito ba ang paskong hatid ay pag-asa? Sa pagiging limitado ba nakaangkla?

Ang pagiging responsableng babae sa bansang pinaghaharian ng lalake?

 

Pasko na naman ng mga kalalakihan (Kalalakihan)

 

Sa malalakas nilang braso at sa tindig na pang sundalo

May hihigit pa ba sa lalaking pang super hero

Maipagtatanggol ka sa lahat ng oras na kailangan mo

At sa anumang laban ay hindi susuko

 

Lagi nalang ba nila itong gagawin. Ni ang umiyak ay kanila na ring iniiwasan

Dahil sa ang lahat sila ay inaasahan. Tila walang karapatang mapanghinaan

 

Ang katotohanan sa sarili nilang mundo sila din ay biktima

Nakakulong sa mga responsibilidad na inaako mag-isa

Kaya nama’y minsan ugat ng diskriminasyon at opresyon

Sa sarili, sa bayan, higit sa pamilya

 

Kailan ang magiging huling pasko

Na sila ay mapalaya sa reaksyonaryong prinsipyo

Na dapat sila’y ganyan at ganito. Magbabago pa kaya ito?

 

Pasko na naman ng Manggagawa, Magsasaka at Mangingisda (Manggagawa ng Simbahan)

 

Sila ang tinuturing na kalakhang pwersa ng ekonomiya

Ngunit nasa pinakamababang sektor at kung tawagin ay masa

Mahirap at pinagsasamantalahan ang antas ng pamumuhay nila

At inaalipin at nilalamangan ng panginoong may lupa

 

Ito ba ang pasko para sakanila? Ang patuloy na biktima sa sariling bansa

Magkasabwat ang bansang imperyalista

At ang gobyernong sunud-sunuran sakanya

 

Kailan magwawakas ang mga ganid sa kapangyarihan?

Kailan mararanasan ang kalayaan sa manipulasyon?

Kailan makakamit ang tunay na paglaya at pagbabago

Sa bansang tinaguriang lupang pangako

 

+ Pambungad na Panalangin:                    

 

+ Pagbasa sa Kasulatan at Pakikipagdayalogo sa Awit ni Maria: Lukas 1:46-55

 

Tinig 1: 46At sinabi ni Maria, “Ang puso ko’y nagpupuri sa Panginoon,

 

Tinig 2:           Masarap, masaya, ang magpuri sa Panginoon

Puso ay maligaya pagkat Siya na mula pa noon.  Ngunit sa kabila ng pagpupuri, puso         pa di’y nahahapis. Pagkat Kanyang kabutiha’y inaangkin ng iilan ng walang lihis

Tinig 1:  47At nagagalak ang aking espiritu dahil sa Diyos na aking Tagapagligtas.

Tinig 2:           Sino ang hindi magagalak kung ang Diyos na ang nagliligtas?

Anong espiritu ang tatanggi sa pagkilos Niya’t paglingap?

Kung ang isang simpleng  nilalang ay diringgin ng Panginoon

Hindi ba aapaw ang kagalakan? Hindi ba aawit ang puso’t mapapatalon?

 

Ngunit sino naman ang magiging tagapagligtas nilang ginigipit at inaapi?

Silang nagtitiyaga araw- araw ngunit pagsasamantala pa rin ang inaani?

Ang Diyos ba ni Maria’y Diyos din nila? o suntok sa buwan pa rin mga panalangin nila?

Espiritung nagagalak maranasan din kaya nila? Diyos ba ni Maria’y Diyos din nila?

 

Tinig 1: 48Sapagkat nilingap niya ang kanyang abang alipin!

Tinig 2:           Paglingap sa aba’y anong ibig sabihin? Si Maria’y bakit aba sa pagpupuri nya’t awitin?      Bakit niya inaangkin pagkatao ng isang alipin?

Bakit kailangang may isang Maria na aba at alipin?

 

Anong hirap kanyang naranasa’t siya’y napaawit nang Diyos niya’y nasumpungan?

Larawan ba ng babaeng pinailalim sa sistemang sa kanya’y magkukulong at lilinlang?

Kalagayan niya kaya’y gaya ng karamihan– ibinababa, mahina, at walang makapitan?

Si Maria ba’y halimbawa ng libu-libong biktima ng iilang nakikinabang?

 

Ilang Maria pa kaya ang nangangailangan ng paglingap?

Ilang aba at alipin pa ang baon sa pahirap?  Paano magpupuri mga aba sating          kalagitnaan? Paglingap ng Diyos ay kailan nila mararanasan?

 

Tinig 1:           At mula ngayon, ako’y tatawaging mapalad ng lahat ng salinlahi,

Tinig 2:           Pagiging mapalad, ano nga ba ang iyong kahulugan?

Sa pangalan at dami ng salinlahi, katumbas mo ba’y kaligtasan?

Tatawaging mapalad ang isang abang tulad niya?

Si Maria lang ba? Wala bang karapatang gaya niya ang iba pang mga aba?

 

Nais din ng karamihan ang maging tunay na mapalad

Ngunit ang nakakamit lamang ay mga pangakong pawang huwad

Nais lamang magbago ang guhit sa kanilang mga palad

Baka kahit sa pangalan man lang ay magkaroon pa ng kaunting dignidad

 

Tinig 1:  49Dahil sa mga dakilang bagay na ginawa sa akin ng

Makapangyarihan—Banal ang kanyang pangalan!

Tinig 2:           Kung higit ang buhay kaysa iba pang mga bagay

Kung mga gawa ay nagpapalakas at nagbibigay- buhay

Tunay ngang dakila mga gawa ng Makapangyarihan

Di gaya ng mga walang pusong naghahari- harian

 

Kadakilaan ba’y para sa mas nangangailangan o sa mga nagkakamal?

Kung naranasan man ni Maria, maranasan din nawa pagmamahal

Sino ang magpapatunay? Kanino nga ba nabubuhos?

Kapangyarihan ba’y tulong o mas nagdudulot pa ng unos?

 

Tinig 1:  50Kinahahabagan niya ang mga may takot sa kanya sa lahat ng sali’t saling lahi.

Tinig 2:           Habag?Paano?May takot? Sino?

Habag ay para kanino? sa mga api o sa mapang abusong mga amo?

Matakot sa pagsuway sa tawag ng pananampalataya

Hindi sa pagsupil sa mali at sa pagpili ng tama

 

Tinig 1:  51Ipinakita niya ang lakas ng kanyang mga bisig, Pinangalat niya ang mga palalo ang isipan.

Tinig 2:            Malakas nga ba ang Diyos at makapangyarihan? Pagkat hinahanap Siya sa gitna ng            kaapihan. Mga bisig niyang mag iingat at lakas na magtatanggol

Presensya upang magpatuloy sa halip na magmaktol

 

Tila makasariling mga lider ay may malalakas ding mga bisig

Silang pagsasamantala ang alam ay manliliit ka sa mga titig

Minsan sila’y maamo ngunit mapanlinlang at mukhang malinis

Lakas ng Diyos ay sa nagkakaisang masa kahit na marumi ang bihis

 

Tinig 1: 52Ibinagsak niya ang mga hari mula sa kanilang trono,

At itinaas ang mga nasa abang kalagayan.

 

Tinig 2:   Mga nakaupo sa trono’y bakit naghahari  pa din? Mga utusan at manggawa’y bakit nasa            ibaba pa din? Mga salari’t magnanakaw bakit laging nakakaligtas?

Ang mga inosente at tumutulong laging lagot at walang takas

           

Tinig 1: 53Binusog niya ng mabubuting bagay ang mga nagugutom,

At pinalayas niyang wala ni anuman ang mayayaman.

Tinig 2:           Ang mga busog at sagana ay tila laging gutom

Sa kanila ang pinagkukunan pati na rin ang mga nalikom

Ang mga gutom na sinisikmura ay patuloy na umaasa

Naghihintay ng mumong na mahuhulog sa kanilang mesa’t bulsa

 

Manggagawa’t magsasakang nagpagod ay nag- aani ng patay at luha

Mga dukhang inaagawan ng lupa’y pinapalayas na walang awa

Mayayama’t may kapangyarihan ay laging may karapatang bigla

Na maliliit ay yurakan at patawan ng hirap at kalagayang tila sumpa

 

Tinig 1: 54Tinulungan niya ang kanyang bayang Israel, Bilang pagtupad sa pangako niya sa ating mga     magulang, 55Kay Abraham at sa kanyang lahi, magpakailanman!”

Tinig 2:           Sa imperyalismo at malawakang pag abuso sa ating bansa

Na walang nais itira sa mga hamak kahit ang kaunti nilang hiya

Konkretong tulong at pagkilos ang tugong nais makamit

Mula sa mga pangakong kay tagal na at paulit ulit nating binabanggit.

 

Pagbubulay/ Mensahe ng Buhay:    Balik Tanaw sa Pasko

Mensahe ng Awit: (open for your choice of song)

Panalangin Ngayong Pasko:  Mga Sana Ngayong Pasko

 

Sana mula ngayong pasko hanggang sa mga taon pang darating

Wala ng kakalam ang sikmura at manlilimos upang may makain

Wala ng magnanakaw pambili ng gamot sa may sakit na mahal

Wala ng mamamatay dahil mahirap ma’y magagamot na sa ospital

Sana mula ngayong pasko wala ng pamilya ang walang bahay

Sana mga bata’t kabataan ay di lang sa lansangan ang buhay

Sana maging bahagi ng pagbabago pati mga kalalakihan

At hindi na kasangkapan ng pagkawasak ng pamilya’t ng buong lipunan

 

Sana mula ngayong pasko hanggang sa marami pang taon

Wala ng babaeng gagahasain at tatakutin sa habang panahon

Pahahalagahan ang pagkatao at malaya ng makagagalaw

Hindi na masama kundi masayang balita ang aalingaw- ngaw

Sana mga Lumad, Moro, Katutubo at iba pa, makabalik na sa tahanan at mabawi kanilang lupa

Sana ating kultura at yaman maipagtanggol sa mga kaaway

Sana wala ng masawing buhay o kaya’y ipapapatay

 

Sana ang mga OFW san mang bansa nakikipagsapalaran.

Ngayong pasko ay ligtas pati kanilang sambahayan

Sana isang araw di na kailangang umalis pa, pagkat kapwa at sariling bansa ay magiging sapat na.

Sana mga manggagawa nati’y magkaroon din ng pahinga

Pahinga sa mga labang naipapanalo pa rin ng mga mandaraya

Pahinga din sa mga gastusing disin sana ay libre na

At magkaroon nawa ng hanapbuhay na magbibigay dignidad sa pamilya

 

Sana ang mga organisasyon at ating mga simbahan, mula ngayon at kailanpaman ay patuloy na makialam. Magtulungan sa pagbabaka ng mga sistemang di makatao

At huwag magkulong kundi maging mulat at makilakbay sa mga tao

 

Sana mga aral, malalakas at silang mga nasa posisyon

Tumigil na sa pagiging alyado ng mga nagmamanipula sa populasyon

Sana sa pagkabulag at korapsyon, ang pamahalaan ay pipiliin ng tumanggi

Tungo sa layuning wala ng magugutom, di nakapag aral at pulubi

 

Mga magulang, guro, kasama at mga kaibigan, ngayong pasko nawa ay magkaisa hindi lamang sa handaan, kundi sa paghubog sa atin upang maging makatao’t makabayan

Nang wag tayong mamuhay para sa sarili lamang

 

Sana hindi lamang makontento sa mga feeding at relief goods

Sa awa at kwento, sa mga abuloy at limos

Sa ating pagbabalik tanaw sa diwa ng pasko, huwag tayong nasa gitna, sana’y manindigan tayo.

Sana hindi lang puro sana kundi maging katotohanan na

Na ang pag- asang nasa puso ay maging pag- asa din nila. Silang naghihintay ng ating pagkilala’t pagsuporta, ngayong pasko’y makaranas ng langit pagkat tayo’y kasama din nila.

 

Pagsindi ng Kandila ng Pag- asa: (Christ Candle)

Salita ng Pag- asa:

Ang Diyos na di papanig sa mapagsamantalang kapangyarihan saan man,

Ang Diyos na hindi magpapala sa mga nagbubulagbulagan

Ang Diyos na hindi natutuwa habang ang masa ay nahihirapan

Ang Diyos na mag-iingat sa ating mga mabubuting layunin

Ang Diyos ding magbibigay ng pag- asa na sa pagkakaisa’y magtatagumpay din

At sa patuloy na paglalakbay natin, Siya rin ang Diyos na sasama sa atin.

 

+ Pangwakas na Pamaskong Awitin:          (open for your choice of song)

Pagbabalik ng Pasasalamat at Pagkakaloob:

Pagbabatian:

 

+ Pangwakas na Panalangin:          

O Diyos, narinig mo ang aming dalamhati at pagsusumamo. Narinig namin ang iyong mensahe sa amin ngayong pasko. Lalabas kami ng sanktuaryong itong may mabigat na hamon, Sa pagtugon hindi sa dikta ng lipunang mapaglinlang, Kundi sa halimbawa ni Hesus na aming sinusundan.

 

Tulungan mo kaming lalo pang maging mulat sa katotohanan

Maging mapanuri sa hindi nakakapagbigay buhay na katuruan

Gayundin sa mga stratehiyang mapagsamantala sa karamihan

Gawa ng naghaharing uri sa uring kanyang pinaghaharian

 

Gawin mo kaming kabahagi ng malaking misyon

Mapalaya ang bansa at tumindig ng buo ang kalooban

Naniniwalang ang anumang hamon sa buhay ay malalagpasan

Sapagkat ikaw ang Diyos na aming pinaniniwalaan

 

Maging ang pasko ay tunay na pag-asa, sa bawat mga babae, lalake at bata

Gayundin sa manggagawa, mangingisda at magsasaka, at lahat ng sektor ng lipunang matagal ng umaasa, sa kapanganakan ng bagong sanggol, dulot ay bagong pag-asa.

Sa ngalan na Ama, ng Anak at ng Espiritu Santo. Amen

 

+Basbas:                     Humayo tayong kasama ang espiritu ng kapayapaan,

hindi upang magsawalang bahala kundi maging matatag sa tunguhin para sa bayan.

Ngunit sa masakit na katotohanang ang karamihan ay hindi payapa,

humayo tayong ang espiritung lumiligalig ang nasa ating kalagitnaan,

upang di tayo mapakali hanggang ang tunay na kalooban ng Diyos ay maranasan.

Ngayong kapaskuhan at magpakailanman, ang Diyos ay kasama ng mga abang mamamayan.

Samahan natin sila sa ngalan ng Diyos—magulang nati’t kasama. Siya Nawa.

 

+ Tugon:          (open for your choice of song)

 

 

 

Liturhiyang Inihanda ng ASSOCIATION OF Women in Theology (AWIT) – Union Theological Seminary , Dasmarinas, Cavite

 

Original words from, and poetry by:

 

Hazel Joyce Domingo Salatan, UMC, AWIT- UTS Chapter; &

Sandra Blanca Khemlani, UMC, AWIT- UTS Chapter

NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF LIFE

            

14203184_10154522422207940_358211689067835059_nStatement of the Association of Women in Theology (AWIT)  on the Government’s Campaign Against Illegal Drugs

The Association of Women in Theology (AWIT) calls on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to uphold human dignity and respect human rights in its campaign against illegal drugs. We believe it is possible to end the menace of illegal drugs without sacrificing our deep desire to protect the sanctity of life.

We are women who feel the pain and agony of mothers, sisters, families, kith and kin who have lost their loved ones – having been victimized by people who use drugs. We are actively engaged in ministries that help the poor and promote the elimination of violence. We, too, dream of a society where drug problems are eliminated and people live healthy lives and their well-being taken care of.

Statistics clearly show an upsurge in the number of individuals believed to be people who use and sell drugs – getting killed and most of them are poor and destitute. Government has the obligation to punish and stop those who are behind the illegal drug industry in the Philippines. And the reality that rich and powerful druglords remain scot-free remains a big challenge to government.

The conduct of the government’s response to illegal drugs has been bloody, violent and

stop

AWIT, PCPR and NCCP join the candle lighting for life on Aug 31 t 6PM in front of  Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City .

selective as most of the targets are poor and helpless. Making matters worse is the culture of violence pervasive in our everyday lives through the mass media and the reactions of those cheering and dignifying the violence that surround these daily spates of killings. Whether the perpetrators of the killings are government forces, vigilante groups or members and collaborators of the drug syndicates themselves, we condemn these senseless killings.  Due process in conducting investigations and arresting people who use and sell drugs must be upheld and when proven guilty, they should be held criminally liable for their actions. We further demand that police forces who were involved in the killings of innocent people in the name of the “war on drugs” must be held accountable.

We are women and we believe that the problem on drugs must be seen in the context of extreme impoverishment of the people and those thriving and taking advantage of this impoverishment. As long as people are made to wallow in deep poverty, denied access to basic social services, denied just wages and decent employment… As long as those who till the land remain landless and Indigenous Peoples are militarized in their ancestral lands… As long as politicians engage in graft and corruption and remain in power and untouched… As long as a certain few live lives luxuriously while millions die of hunger and thirst – the ills of this society, including drug use and drug dependency will remain unresolved. The solution is not violent and massive killings that result to encouraging others to kill with impunity. The solution is to create a condition where people live decent and empowered lives.

AWIT commends the efforts of many religious congregations and institutions to offer their resources in programs aimed at the rehabilitation of people who use and are dependent on drugs. We fervently call on other churches, religious institutions and non-government organizations to do the same as we firmly believe that there is always hope for people to change their ways and make amends. We likewise challenge the government to provide resources for the rehabilitation programs that will cater especially to our young people. Better yet, address squarely the roots of social ills that perpetuate poverty among our people.

We know that there are many things to be done by government together with the people especially in the light of the various reforms that President Duterte would want to implement and achieve. In doing so, may we never lose sight of what is honorable, just, pure, pleasing and commendable (Philippians 4:8). And that is upholding FULLNESS OF LIFE FOR ALL, especially for the least and the victimized.

REV. RHEA BITACURA-LOQUIAS                               MS. DARLENE MARQUEZ-CARAMANZANA

National Co-Coordinator                                                   National Co-Coordinator

 

 

 

 

Isulong ang Kapayapaang Batay sa Katarungan

13681041_980625478723295_4551010056285830256_nOpening Remarks – Darlene Marquez Caramanzana, NCCP (AWIT)

Sa puso ng ministeryo ng National Council of Churches in the Philippines ay ang Kapayapaan. Bakit nga ba naman hindi kung ang “vision” o pangitain nito ay “buhay na ganap at kasiya-siya sa lahat”. Sa pangitaing ito naka-angkla ang malalim na mithiin na makamit ang kapayapaan. Ang program sa kapayapaan ay malinaw din na nakakabit sa katarungan: Peace based on Justice is what we want. Kaya nga hindi nawawala sa buhay ng konseho ang pakikiisa sa iba’t ibang sektor na nagnanais din ng kapayapaang nakabatay sa katarungan.

Sa kababaihan, malinaw ang mukha ng kawalang kapayapaan:

– Laganap na kagutuman
– Kawalan ng trabaho at seguridad sa trabaho
– Kawalan ng abot-kayang edukasyon
– Kawalan ng serbisyong pangkalusugan
– Kawalan at pang-aagaw ng lupa sa mga maliliit na magsasaka
– Pagkasira ng Kalikasan dahil sa pandarambong ng ating likas yaman
– Laganap na karahasan at walang patumanggang paglabag sa karapatang pantao
– Pagtataboy, pamamaslang sa mga katutubo mula sa kanilang lupain
– Kawalan ng pantay at makatarungang akses sa rekurso ng bansa

Ang mga kaganapang ito ay nagbunsod ng tunggalian sa ating lipunan.

Hangga’t ang batayang problema ay hindi nasasagot o nalulunasan hindi mamamayani ang isang kondisyong ang kapayapaan ay yumayakap sa katarungan.

Minsan pa, balikan at siluin natin ang diwa at legasiya ng matapang na propetisa at hukom na si Debora na hindi nanatiling nakaupo sa ilalim ng puno ng palma kundi namuno sa pulutong ng mga sundalo ng Bayang Israel upang ilunsad ang pagkitil ang digma laban sa mapanirang pwersa ng kagutuman, pang-aapi, pananalasa at kamatayan na malaon ng nagpapahirap sa kanyang mamamayan.

Sa ngalan ng kapayapaan, itinaya ni Debora ang buhay kasama si Barak at ang kanyang mga kawal upang sa gitna ng pakikibaka ay iluwal ang isang mapayapang buhay para sa kanilang mamamayan.

Nawa ang pagsasama-sama natin ngayon ay minsan pang magbigay pagpupugay sa tradisyong iniwan ni Debora:

– Tradisyong lumalaban sa mga kaaway ng kapayapaan;
– Tradisyong handing makipaglaban at pumasok sa makatarungang digma para maibsan ang kagutuman ;
– Tradisyong handang ipagtanggol ang sagradong buhay na kaloob sa ating lahat.

Muli, isang Mainit na pagtanggap!

Ipagdiwang natin ang ating lakas bilang mga kababaihan!
Makiisa sa pagsusulong ng kapayapaang nakabatay sa katarungan!
Makisangkot at aktibong kumilos para sa kapayapaan!
Isulong ang usaping pangkapayapaan!

 

 

Honor Fabella Hospital, Stop Its Privatization

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. ” – Psalm 127:3

OutgoinFabella-closure-2-e1462404755512g President Benigno Simeon Aquino, Jr, proudly announced that he is leaving P164B behind in government coffers, courtesy of dividends remitted by government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC).

Alarmingly, he is also endangering the lives of thousands of pregnant women and children by including the Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila to the PPP(public-private partnership) scheme. This hospital has long been known as the busiest maternity hospital in the country.  The government awarded a contract worth P743million to J.D. Legaspi Construction to design and build a new Fabella Hospital.

If the government has funds from the GOCC, why not just modernize and improve the facilities and services of Fabella Hospital outright; this hospital is essential in its priority of providing maternity and health-care services to many poor women.   P743M  from the GOCC  could easily be used to upgrade and modernize this government-owned  hospital, but instead Fabella will be surrendered to the hands of a private corporation.

Our experiences have already shown that services at the hands of private, corporate business means allowing business interests to take priority, and thus, access to services becomes a privilege for the  moneyed and the wealthy.  Private corporations do not exist to frustrate their own interests or to provide basic services to people whether or not they can afford to pay for both costs and expected profits.  Innate to their being is to seek for ways to increase their profits margin, without consideration for the conditions and rights of their “market.”

The 1987 Constitution states that “the government must adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health and development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all people at affordable costs”.

The Fabella Hospital could be likened to a sacred temple where the births of new generations are offered to our nation.  The panting and cries of mothers as they give birth can be likened to the cries of the poor for the birthing of a society where care and services are provided, a society where children are assured of social justice.

fabella-hospital

The privatization of this hospital desecrates the heritage of our people who have been welcomed into Life from the generation to generation at Fabella. Even more, it disgraces the gift of motherhood; poor mothers should never be denied social services through the sin of commodification of basic health care.

We challenge Pres. Aquino to consider to get the  0.45% ( P743million)  from the funds he proudly  announced he would leave behind  and use it for the modernization and improvements of Fabella.  These should be immediately use for the improvements of Fabella; under no circumstances should this important maternity hospital be converted into a private-corporation.   The government has money that should be used for providing services to our people.  Mothers should be the priority far above any business or private interests.  Can we not render our greatest respect and appreciation to this hospital that has been serving our country since its early beginning in 1920?

 

Norma P. Dollaga

Kasimbayan Women’s Collective

ONLY CLEAN HANDS AND A PURE HEART (A Statement Against the Return of Marcoses to Malacañang)

 

carmma april 26            The Psalmist of old averred that only those who have clean hands and pure hearts…who do not lift up their souls to idols on swear by what is false can ascend the hill of the Lord. (Psalm 24:4) That declaration finds easy translation in the bid of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, Jr. for the second highest leadership position in the country.

While it is true that it is his father’s hands that are soaked in the blood of the thousands who were mercilessly silenced during his martial rule, Bongbong Marcos’ persistent denial of that transgression does not absolve him from those crimes against the people. How can one who is blind and deaf to suffering ever lead the people?

While countless Filipinos heave under the heavy yoke of debilitating poverty, the Marcoses continue to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth through a lifestyle that is an affront to the masses who sacrifice life and limb just to survive. How can one who is shamefully calloused and insensitive to the plight of the majority ever lead a people?

While the hard facts of history plainly reveal that the Marcos dictatorship was a terrifying nightmare where the people were stripped of their God-given rights and dignity, Bongbong Marcos has the rashness to claim that under his father’s watch, the Filipinos never had it so good. How can one who cannot truthfully interpret history and be mentored by it ever lead a people?

Indeed, to allow Bongbong Marcos to plant one step into Malacañang is to fling wide the gate to a dispensation that we had long dismantled and vowed to forestall its resurrection. Only he who has clean hands and a pure heart can ascend the hill of leadership of this country. It is definitely not Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, Jr.!

Ms. Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes

Assistant Professor

College of Theology

Central Philippine University

Iloilo City

A Ritual of Empowerment for Women

By : Rev. Lizette G. Tapia-Raquel

Union Theological Seminary

Cavite

 

Tiempo

artwork by Apol Laxamana Sta. Rosa  

Introduction

 

This liturgy is both a lamentation and a celebration of women in history and in our contexts. It laments how the Bible, the primary source of God’s revelation for many, is patriarchal and in many texts diminishes the value of women. It celebrates babaylans as models of women’s leadership and reaffirms the creative power of women in their communities then and now. You may wish to use this liturgy as a whole or just use a part of it, depending on the readiness of your community or congregation. May the God-dess be embodied in us and may we truly know that as women we are created in the image of the Divine.

 

We Come Together in a Circle

​​​​​​

We are sisters, mothers, daughters and lovers.

We are teachers, preachers, peace advocates and learners.

We are victims and survivors, pilgrims and protesters.

We can work alone as individuals but we are stronger when we work  together.

 

We come together in a circle,

Knowing our differences and yet celebrating each other.

Where we can experience “ruah,” the life-giving Spirit,

Where we embody all the hope, joy and love we hope for,

Where we rage as one for the oppression of another.

Where when we feel broken, we know we will never be alone.

 

We come together in a circle, for a moment such as this,

Where we remember the women who went ahead of us

To clear paths, break down walls and build bridges

Women who write even without signing their names

Or speak even when their voices shake

Women who dared to make a difference

Women we remember for we are called to do the same.

 

We come together in a circle;

Believing that God calls us to transform the world,

Receiving the challenge to resist all forms of domination,

Seeking peace with justice, for every woman, child

and all who experience oppression.

 

Leader: Yes, we have come together in a circle, where our faces are revealed to each other. In a circle where no one is at the center, no one is in-front on a pedestal, and no one is at the back to be unheard and silenced. All are welcome here, and all are honored in this space.

 

As we begin this moment together, let us dip our fingers in the bowls of oil, reach out to our sisters, one woman at a time, and bless each other by touching another’s forehead, another’s hand or another’s head. So many women prophets are forgotten and unnamed. And in this ritual, let us speak of how we want to be called, remember each other’s name and begin or continue a sisterhood that never ends.

 

Ritual of   Anointing  

 

Song           “In the Midst of New Dimensions”

(Words and Music by Julian Rush (1985))

 

In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways.

Who will lead the pilgrim peoples wandering in their separate ways?

 

[Refrain] God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar,

We your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.

 

Through the flood of starving people, warring factions and despair,

Who will lift the olive branches? Who will light the flame of care?

 

As we stand a world divided by our own self seeking schemes,

Grant that we, your global village might envision wider dreams

 

We are man and we are woman, all persuasions, old and young,

Each a gift in your creation, each a love song to be sung.

 

Should the threats of dire predictions cause us to withdraw in pain,

May your blazing phoenix spirit, resurrect the church again.

 

 

Lamentation and Affirmation of the Sacred Worth of Women

 

Why does the Creation Story deny that children are birthed from women’s bodies?

 

We affirm the creative power of women to conceive, birth, and nurture life from their bodies and with their very lives, and we re-affirm that we are created in God’s image.

 

Why does the Exodus narrative and the Feedings of Thousands in the Gospels say that women and children were NOT counted?

 

We affirm that every female infant, girl and woman must be counted and included – to participate in the church and community life, to be educated and employed, to be recognized as an equal and valuable member of all areas of society.

 

Why was Jephthah’s daughter’s sacrifice not intervened upon by God, while Isaac was saved by Godself from his own father, Abraham?

 

We affirm the sacredness of life of every girl and woman, and will continue to resist and dismantle domestic violence, the commodification of women, human trafficking and sexual violence. We pronounce the violation of women’s rights as a sin and an evil that must be overcome so that all may experience life and dignity.

 

Why did Ruth have to leave her own people just to survive and why did Esther have to offer her entire life to a king so that her people will be spared?

 

We affirm that women’s bodies and sexuality are a gift from God, a personal and political space which we must collectively liberate and empower, a source of joy and creative power.

 

Why was Miriam afflicted with a disease when she dared to ask, “Does God speak on through Moses?”

 

We affirm that Miriam was a prophetess of God, like many women, and must speak truths, dare to question and propose new meanings and possibilities for themselves and for all of Creation.

 

Why do most Christian texts, traditions and interpretations articulate God as a male, a father, a husband, a powerful king that authorizes violence even against women and children?

 

We affirm that God is loving and empowering, just and merciful, incarnate and creating with us. We affirm the feminine attributes of God and that we are created God’s image.

 

Dance: One Billion  Rising Dance[1] A Reflection on Dance

 

L1: In many of our worship services, dance is forbidden.

And when some of us dare to dance, we can sometimes be unforgiven.

The old people sometimes forget that little children dance before they can even walk;

how young women and men dance during courtship and marriage;

how early warriors have a ritual in dance before defending their people and land;

And how even King David danced after the return of the Ark of the Covenant.

 

L2: Miriam, the prophetess, led the Hebrew People in a dance of liberation.

But the dance of the daughter of Herodias was connected

to the beheading of John who was a holy man.

And so sometimes when we talk of dance, we imagine the Magdalenes

and all the women we condemn as sinners.

And we forget that our bodies, not just our souls, were made to dance.

 

Claiming Our Babaylan Spirit

 

The Babaylans or native priestesses were the early cultural leaders in many communities in the Islands in the Philippines. They were women, or men who imitated women, because it was believed that the Creator or the Divine revealed itself to the feminine spirit. They embodied the aspirations of their people, exhibited fullness as women and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the male leaders in the community. We end this opening ritual by claiming our Babaylan Spirit.

 

We are worthy to be called `BABAYLAN,’ not because our knowledge is great, but because we are  DAUGHTERS  who drank from our mothers’ breasts and were cradled tenderly in the arms of countless women and men and thus learned of gentleness and love.

We are worthy to be called `BABAYLAN,’ not because we have authority, but because we are SISTERS who once played with brothers and sisters and thus learned the value of cooperation and equality.

 

We are worthy to be called `BABAYLAN,’ not because we have studied rituals and doctrine, but because we embrace LIFE and experienced living, giving, receiving, birthing and creating.

 

We are worthy to be called `BABAYLAN,’ not because we are admired by all, but because we are a WOMEN who can stand on our own, and yet, are truly a part of our community.

 

A woman becomes a BABAYLAN through life experiences which enable her to discern the needs and aspirations of her people.

A woman becomes a BABAYLAN from her ability to embody and connect the visions of her people and the revelations of God.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow we received and will receive many gifts. But the greatest of them all is –OURSELVES.

 

Closing Hymn                         “Bread and Roses”

(a song by James Oppenheim. Source: Union Songs  )

 

As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day

A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray

Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses

For the people hear us singing, bread and roses, bread and roses.

 

As we come marching, marching, we battle too, for men,

For they are in the struggle and together we shall win.

Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes,

Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread, but give us roses.

 

As we come marching, marching, un-numbered women dead

Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread,

Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew

Yes, it is bread we. fight for, but we fight for roses, too.

 

As we go marching, marching, we’re standing proud and tall.

The rising of the women means the rising of us all.

No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,

But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.

 

 

 

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRU1xmBwUeA One Billion Rising