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At Large

Women and Sara’s better angels

I wonder what hidden meaning lies behind the reminder from Elizabeth Zimmerman, mother of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, that “while the public knows I (Sara) am the daughter of (President) Rodrigo (Duterte), they should also know that I am the daughter of Elizabeth.”

Mayor Sara, who heads the campaign for the administration Hugpong ng Pagbabago party, landed in the headlines after a series of verbal tussles conducted mainly through the media. The exchange started when she said that “honesty is not an issue” in this year’s elections. When the opposition Otso Diretso responded critically, the mayor reiterated by calling the opposition party a “black hole” and daring them to debate with her in place of her candidates.

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Ms Zimmerman’s counsel, I believe, seems rooted in family dynamics. President Duterte and Zimmerman are estranged, and a psychological assessment of Mr. Duterte at the time of the separation hinted at his being a sociopath. So, is Sara’s mother’s appeal rooted in her belief in the daughter’s “better angels” of her nature, and not the devilish side of the father? Whatever, declaring that “the Sara show is over,” the mayor seems to have decided to heed the better parent.

Indeed, that, too, is the challenge that women across the political, social and ideological spectrum hurled at the Duterte administration during the “Tama Na! Sulong Kababaihan!” (Stop it! Women Advance!) gathering held on March 8 at Luneta.

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Garbed in purple or white, with garlands around their heads and purple ribbons on their wrists, the women called for an end to the misogyny that has characterized the current administration—in words, deeds, policies and programs.

Gathered in front of the La Madre Filipina statue, the women held aloft banners airing their call for an end to hate speech, especially as it targeted women. “On this International Day of Women,” they said in a joint statement, “We say ENOUGH! Enough of the centuries of women’s oppression. Enough of the misogyny of this current administration… We stand arm in arm against the growing, alarming threats to our safety, dignity and the future of our children… We call on women to resist!”

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Looking for a good time that fills you with not just entertainment and enlightenment but also a sense of fulfillment? Then take time on the evening of March 21 for the “TOWNS Purple Benefit” at the Mayuree Grand Ballroom at the Dusit Thani hotel.

The dinner and show features leading comic Jon Santos in “Trumperte,” which should give you an idea of what personas Santos will be portraying. Also providing cultural performances are TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) awardees Celeste Legaspi and Rachelle Gerodias, along with tenor Byeong In Park, with music provided by National Artist Ryan Cayabyab.

Also on hand is chef Cyrille Soenen, who is head of culinary at the Dusit Hospitality Management College overseeing the dinner preparations.

Proceeds from the “TOWNS Purple Benefit” will go toward funding the TOWNS Lifelong Empowerment Series, which aims to instill values and skills in young Filipino women in hopes that in the future they, too, will turn out as accomplished as their “ates” or older sisters who are already TOWNS awardees.

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Speaking of which, the search for the next batch of awardees of TOWNS is underway. The search, which takes place every three years, identifies outstanding Filipino women who, in their various capacities, have served the country well.

Deadline for nominations is on July 31, with the awards to be given out in the last week of October.

Since 1974, TOWNS has recognized 166 women from all over the country and from various walks of life. A nominee must be at least 21 years but not more than 50 years old by Oct. 31, 2019; a Filipino citizen; distinguished in her field of specialization or advocacy and committed to the promotion of the well-being and uplift of the people and community she serves.

For more information, one may reach TOWNS Foundation by e-mail at [email protected]

[email protected]

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TAGS: At Large, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Rina Jimenez-David, Rodrigo Duterte, Sara Duterte-Carpio, TOWNS Purple Benefit
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