(This piece was written by Guadalupe Cruz, a sophomore at June Jordan School for Equity and an intern for The Freedom Archives.)

In the Freedom Archives there is a recorded interview with women in the Philippines about how women are getting into politics in the Philippines. Four women were interviewed by Maricel Pagalayan and talked about how politics and culture changed when the Philippines elected their first woman president, Corazon Aquino. When she became president all the women organizations like MAKIBAKA, GABRIELA , and KAIBA became more present than ever.

This information got me thinking and wondering about how the Philippines were. It made me research more about the Philippines and their past with how they used to treat women. I found out a lot of information about the main big organization, GABRIELA and how the organization helped a lot of women in the Philippines get independence and freedom. The organization helped a lot in the struggle to stop human trafficking. What the organization would do is make more people aware that women’s trafficking is happening and how the people can help to stop it. GABRIELA became nationally known and has a sister network in the U.S. called GABRIELA network (GABnet). One very memorable thing that GABnet did was in May 2005 they organized a vigil. The vigil was a protest against the political killings in the Philippines.

I never knew that any of this happened in the Philippines. I always thought that the Philippines was a nice quiet country. But once I heard the recording and got to know more about the Philippines I was so wrong. I’m glad that I got to learn about the Philippines and more about its history, culture, and how they have come a long way from their past and now they have a better future ahead.


Photo: Gabriel Mistral/Getty Images, Jul 12, 2002

PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES: Filipino women display placards during a protest to express the plight of women who were used as comfort women or sex slaves by Japanese soldiers during World War II during a rally, July 12, 2002 in front of the Japanese Embassy in Pasay City, Philippines. The Filipino women are in the 10th year of their struggle to receive an apology and compensation from the Japanese government.

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