Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This photo was taken during last year's election at Mabini Elementary School in Quiapo. It shows an elderly woman about to cast her vote.

Such right by the Filipino women was won on September 15, 1937, when President Manuel L. Quezon signed the law which extends the right to vote to Filipino women. This historic moment was largely attributed to the intense national campaign launched by the members of the Filipino feminist movement who used every possible means to draw women to register and vote for their own right to vote.

In the end, their tireless efforts paid off when they
met the quota of 300,000 affirmative votes required by the suffrage law of the 1934 Constitutional Convention. The pillars of this feminist movement were invited to Malacañang Palace to witness the signing of the law that gives the Filipino women the right to vote and the privilege of being elected into public office.

This historical marker is placed in front of a building on
Avenida Rizal near corner C.M. Recto Avenue in Santa Cruz, Manila.

The role of women i
n the arena of politics and legislation was first heightened by the Suffragist Movement (1898-1937) which gained for the Filipino women the right to vote and be voted upon.

The suffragist movement brought to the fore the activism of such women as Concepcion Felix de Calderon (founder of the Asociacion Feminista Filipina), Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, Trinidad Almeda, Miss Constancia Poblete (founder of Liga Femenina de la Paz), Pura Villanueva Kalaw, Paz Mendoza Guazon, Pilar Hidalgo Lim (president of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs) and Josefa Llanes Escoda (president of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines).

Read more here.

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Additional recommended reads:

Women's rights in the Philippines today - Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project

Empowering the Filipino Woman - The Manila Times

Philippine Suffragette - Women in World History

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Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!




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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:50 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to post some comments on your Manila Photojounalism site, Eric (which have some really good walk-around photos). Sadly I cannot since only blogger and open id accounts are allowed. :)

October 28, 2008 1:01 PM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

The Filipinas must be one of the earliest in Asia who managed to champiom women's suffrage.

"Before the colonizers came, Filipino women were enjoying a position equal to men or in some point even more so. They were looked up to and given the highest respect in the community; the women priests called Babaylan is an example of this.

The situation reversed when the Spaniards came. They inculcated in the minds of the people that women did not have significant roles in society, that they were mere followers of men and born to take care of their husbands, children and family. The early Filipina easily accepted the role of "Maria Clara." They became submissive to men and good followers to the teaching of the Spaniards.

But they could not stand seeing their countrymen being maltreated by the Spaniards, and hearing them crying and shouting for freedom. These women and the unrecognized others, who put their lives at risk and some even gave their lives for the freedom of our country earned what they were fighting for on June 12, 1898... "


October 28, 2008 3:45 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

another very strong photo you have there, Eric!
I find that Pinays have it in them to be outwardly passive but then when push comes to shove they'd generally stand on their own. I have a lot of women in my life who taught me this. Unfortunately, I'm still awkward at showing the maria Clara veneer. I always tell myself baka pinaglihi ako actually kay GI Joe (heehee).

October 28, 2008 6:06 PM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

nutart... "pinaglihi kay GI Joe" LOL.

I love the first photo, the old woman who seems to have all the problems of the world heaped on her frail back... but summoning enough power to claim her right to be heard and decide by voting.

The second photo: Sign of the Times, a gov't historical plaque alongside a grafitti.

October 29, 2008 7:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Blogger does have its annoying quirks, Rey. So sorry about that :(

October 29, 2008 10:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You're right, Mario! Unlike the Japanese women, for example, the Filipinas surely took on on active roles in our political and economic landscapes.

You may want to check out the article I had just posted. It reflects the rest of your comment :)

October 29, 2008 10:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Bernadette,

The family law enforcer in our household of 5 boys and 2 girls was our eldest sister, whom we called behind her back as Fraulein. I must give her credit, for she assumed such unpopular role with a steely determination; never had I seen or heard of one of my older brothers ever defied or disrespected her.

She was the very first among the siblings who traveled abroad.

Like you, pinaglihi din ata siya kay GI Joe ... hehehe.

October 29, 2008 10:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The top photo happens to be my favorite from the series of shot I took on that day Mario. I commend that woman for exercising her power to vote, which many local folks had come to take for granted.

Yes, an interesting contrast, though, I wonder what message the grafitti was conveying.

Thanks, Mario!

October 29, 2008 10:12 AM  

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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.


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