Sunday, March 09, 2008


It was a show of unity to commemorate yesterday's International Women's Day. Organized by various militant groups such as BabaLa! (Babae Laban sa Katiwalian), Anak Pawis, and Gabriela, to name a few, the marchers started convening at the Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City before heading to Plaza Miranda in Quiapo then to Mendiola.

The convenors of BabaLa! along with thousands of women from the peasant, workers and urban poor were joined by women contingents from Makati led by Rep. Abby Binay, and those from Taguig-Pateros led by Rep. Lani Cayetano. There were also other women groups led by Ms. Gina de Venecia and the Be Not Afraid Movement. In addition, members of Martsa ng Kababaihan also marched from the University of Santo Tomas in España to Mendiola. Some wives of detained Magdalo soldiers were also supposedly in attendance.

Ms. Gina de Venecia (Manay Gina) was one of the speakers at a program staged at Plaza Miranda. She reminded the crowd of the time when as a friend she tried advising President Gloria Arroyo about ongoing corruption in her government, but only to be told, "Gina, I'm the president; you're just an ordinary housewife."

Moreover, Ms. Bibeth Orteza, convenor and spokesperson of BabaLa! said, "This show of unity of women who genuinely care about their country and the future generation, serves to counteract the image of a greedy and cunning woman whose priority is her own self-interest."

After the program, the protesters then headed over to Mendiola where they were allowed to set foot on the historic Mendiola Bridge (now Chino Roces Bridge). They held another program which included the burning of an effigy of President Gloria Arroyo and a dramatized serving of her warrant of arrest for supposedly having committed crimes against the Filipino people.

A riot police force led by female officers of the Philippine National Police remained behind razor wire barricades and did not interfere with the protesters' program which was peaceful throughout.

The rally organizers estimated the total number of those who attended at 10,000, while police crowd control and numbers experts reported 1,500.

Related links:

Activists call for Arroyo to resign on Women's Day - ABS-CBN Interactive

Pro- and anti-Arroyo groups face off at Women’s Day rallies - Philippine Daily Inquirer


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:59 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

women's right or militant women?

March 09, 2008 9:06 AM  

Blogger Tina said...

i like the smiling faces in photo#3and the policewomen indeed filos are happy people despite adversity...

March 09, 2008 1:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate it that the riot police force was led by female PNP officers. I see it as a gesture of respect from law enforcers. :)

Were there no men here in the rally? I'm reminded of the late Sen. Raul Roco who was bestowed the name: "Honorary Woman" because of his pro-women advocacies.

March 09, 2008 4:45 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Tina: I don't think they smile because they are happy...

Eric is a bit of a "babaero" and I guess they find him a handsome photographer... look how ALL those girls are smiling at him!

Great coverage again... you seem to be everywhere at the right time in the right spot.

I think some major newspaper should hire you as their official photographer!

March 09, 2008 5:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think it's militant women upholding the significance of women's contributions in every aspect of our society, especially in the realm of good governance, Anonymous.

March 09, 2008 7:02 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

There were plenty of witty remarks made by most of the speakers at the Plaza Miranda stage, Tina. They kept the crowd riveted and amused :)

The police over at Mendiola were very much at ease -- not at all showing any sign of alarm -- since it was obvious these women had no intention of breaking down the barriacades and barge into Malanang Palace ... hehehe.

March 09, 2008 7:05 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I wish, Sidney ... hahaha!

It was fun covering this event since there was no hint whatsoever of any impending violence.

Thanks, Sidney, but I'm sure the major newspapers had their seasoned lensmen very much represented in this event

March 09, 2008 7:08 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, I agree with you, Rhoda. Besides, there was really no threat of violence from either side, thank God! And yes, there were male presence in this event.

These demonstrations and other simila events in the future basically demonstrate the vibrant democracy at work in our country. It is indeed wonderful that any citizen can express his opinion without facing arrest, torture and indefinite incarceration, or worse, to be committed at insane asylums and subjected to constant drugging or electric shocks.

March 09, 2008 7:24 PM  

Blogger Tina said...

sidney: so eric is handsome - thanks for the hint,i can imagine he's dark, is he tall too? lol!! he ought to post his photo i reckon hehe.

March 09, 2008 7:57 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You've guessed it the other way around, Tina. Replace dark with suntanned and you've very much described Sidney ... hehehe!

I'm the short, fat, graying middle-aged man with a mustache that won't grow evenly. Posting my picture on my blog might only discourage bloggers from coming back to my site ... hahaha!

You have to realize that Sidney is the quintessentially "nice guy" who'd shower anyone with superlatives :)

March 09, 2008 8:35 PM  

Blogger Tina said...

whatever eric but that was a good characterization you described there i might pinch it for my story if yer don't mind tenk you!

March 10, 2008 8:17 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

Aw, come on Eric! I found your disposition very engaging the brief time you introduced yourself to me! You're the typical shutterbug---quite shy but transfers your outgoing personality via the photo images!

As to being of the female gender here in our Motherland, I feel privileged compared with those of other countries. We are respected for a lot of things more than the rest in the world. We have more freedoms and/or find our ways to choose them. As the historians or sociologists would say, we do have a matriarchal society. There was a group of micro-financing women (of batangas) I spoke to who say that they literally run their communities and their husbands/men are mere symbols to make it look like well...normal. What do you say to that? ;-)

March 10, 2008 8:57 AM  

Blogger Oman said...

it seems that almost every group wants GMA to resign, so id rather not comment on the issue (believe me, i already had my share on this) but rather on the wonderful pics you have taken.

parang hindi rally/protest 'coz they are all smiles. hindi talaga violent pag mga babae no?

March 10, 2008 12:48 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I can't wait for your book to come out, Tina!

Yes, you may use that line :)

March 10, 2008 1:10 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Come to think of it, Bernadette, the house rules set forth by my parents were enforced by the eldest sibling -- the disciplinarian -- whom we call behind her back as Fraulein. I tell you, she could have made the Third Reich proud ... hehehe.

Nonetheless, not one of the boys ever defied her position of power.

So, yes ... I'd say that for the most part, the Filipino society does exercise equality.

You're also right about personality transference through photography -- had it not been for my camera, I never would have made many friends with Manila folks. I think the same applies to Sidney who is a shy man in person as well.

March 10, 2008 1:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

These anti-government rallies seem to have affable participants unlike the Mendiola Massacre anniversary rallyists who appeared extremely serious.

By the way, I'm sorry to have missed yesterday's pro-Arroyo march. Didn't hear anything about it; otherwise, I would have loved to cover it as well so as to present a more balanced perspective.

Thanks, Lawstude.

March 10, 2008 1:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Eric, lagi kang nasa labas a! Kuhang-kuha mo ang mga importanteng pangyayari. Tama nga yata si Sidney, ginagamit mo ang charisma mo sa babae! :D

March 10, 2008 7:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senor, re: DeVenecia

Just wondering why only now? Hindi na ba sila naaambunan kaya nag-iingay?

March 10, 2008 7:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen these riot policewomen in action? Are they as tough as their male counterparts?
How does a macho guy demonstrator feel when he gets beaten by a policewoman who is all business? Can he properly claim "police brutality" and be believed? LOL.

Mahirap makapag-asawa ng female toughie baka paluhurin ka sa munggo pag umuwi ka nang gabing galing sa inuman with your buddies...ha,ha,ha. Just kidding.

March 10, 2008 8:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

When doing street photography, LAR -- and I'm sure Sidney will agree with me on this one -- always wear a smile and say "thank you" after taking pictures of those who have allowed you to take their pictures. That's basically it :) No magic charms to buy from Quiapo ... hehehe.

Thanks, LAR!

March 10, 2008 8:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

All I can say, Mandaragat, to borrow from W. Churchill, there are no permanent friends and enemies in politics; only permanent interests.

One cannot be onion-skinned in that arena ... hehehe.

March 10, 2008 8:41 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I wouldn't want to ever witness such a violent spectacle, BertN ... hehehe.

March 10, 2008 8:57 PM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

Great shots as always, Eric. Thanks!

Some of those female cops were quite pretty I must say. :)

March 11, 2008 3:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

They certainly are, Panaderos :)

Thank you!

March 11, 2008 6:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


About Me

Name: Señor Enrique
Location: Manila, Philippines

View my complete profile

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Flickr Badge. Make your own badge here.
Señor Enrique Home
Designed by The Dubai Chronicles.
All rights and lefts reserved.