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Sa telebisyon ang babaeý nakakahon, nakakahon parang bareta ng sabon
Maging sabong panglaba o sabong pampaganda
Babae ang laging bida.
Kapag sabong pampaganda, lagi nang nang-iinggit
Dahil mapanghalina, ang kutis na makinis

Kapag sabong panglaba, masayang iginigiit
Na kahit di ikula, ay puputi ang damit
At bago magwakas itong patalastas, Lalaki ang nagpapasalamat
Kutis ng kanyang nobya kay sarap haplusin, labada ni Misis, kay bangong amuyin

Heto ngayon ang tanong sa bidang nakakahon
Wala na ba siyang pangarap o ibang ambisyon
Sa tinagal ng panahon, dadalwa ang pusisyon
Dakilang katulong, o isang dekorasyon

Sa ganitong pagkakataon, natutunaw na ang sabon
Ang bidang ikinahon, lalabas ng telebisyon
Upang harapin ang bagong ambisyon—sabunin, kusutin, pigain
Ang sa kanya’y nagkahon.

Sulong, sulong, kababaihan
Sumulong at lumaban
Buuin natin ang samahan
Ng makabayang kababaihan
Lumahok sa produksyon
At pangmasang kilusan
Sa pagtatamo ng tunay
Na demokrasya at kalayaan

KORO

Iwaksi ang haka-hakang
Kababaiha’y mahina
Mayroon tayong isip at lakas
Tulad ng ating kapwa
Nakararaming kababaihan
Nabibilang sa mga nilikha
May mga intelektwal
Magsasaka at manggagawa.

II

Sulong, sulong kababaihan
Sumulong at lumaban
Harapin ang nagsasamantalang
Nang-aapi sa sambayanan
Kapit-bisig nating wasakin
Kapangyarihan ng gahaman
Kababaihan ay lalaya
Sa paglaya ng bayan.
(ulitin Koro at II).

Kababaihan ay lalaya
Sa paglaya ng bayan

Kayo ba ang mga Maria Clara
Mga Hule at mga Sisa
Na di marunong na lumaban
Kaapihaý bakit iniluluha
Mga babae, kayo baý sadyang mahina?

II
Kayo ba ang mga Cinderella
Na lalaki ang tanging pag-asa
Kayo nga ba ang mga Nena
Na hanapbuhay ay pagpuputa
Mga babae, kayo baý sadyang pangkama?

KORO
Ang ating isip ay buksan
At lipuna’y pag-aralan
Paano nahubog ating isipan
At tanggaping tayo’y mga libangan
Mga babae, ito nga ba’y kapalaran?

III
Bakit ba mayroong mga Gabriela
Mga Teresa at Tandang Sora
Na di umasa sa luha’t awa
Sila’y nagsipaghawak ng sandata
Nakilaban, ang mithiin ay lumaya

IV
Bakit ba mayroong mga Liza,
Mga Liliosa at mga Lorena
Na di natakot makibaka
At ngayo’y marami nang kasama
Mga babae, ang mithiin ay lumaya
( Ulitin ang Koro, III & IV)

Mga babae, ang mithiin ay lumaya!!!

Ang bahay-uod,
Naluluma, nabubulok.
Ngunit kalauna’y nagluluwal
ng magandang mariposa.

Ang sinapupunan
ng lipunan
na luma at bulok,
ay nagluluwal
ng mga lumalaban.

Ikaw
ay isinisilid sa isang dakot
–na kamao ng pagsasamantala.

Ikaw
Ay Ibinabaon sa paglimot
at ibinubulid sa takot
Hanggang sa ikaw ay
Ikinakahon sa dusa
at itinuturing na mahina.

Ika’y ikinukulong
… sa kwadra
… sa kusina
… sa sala
….sa entablado
… sa casa
… sa kwarto
… sa makipot na estero
… sa palengke
… sa palasyo
… sa bisig ng hari.
…. At kung saan-saan

Pero ikaw ay mariposa
May matingkad na kulay ng pagbabalikwas
Ang haharapi’y maraming bukas
Ang angking ganda ay ibayong pag-asa
para sa hangaring lumaya.

Ang natatanging paraan:
Sa daigdig
Na binalot ng ligalig
Pumalag!Lumaban!
Lumabas!
Magbalikwas!

Pagkat hindi likas
na ang mundo mo’y isang dakot
Isang lumang bahay-uod
Na nabubulok.

Ikaw ay Babae!
Ika’y malayang mariposa!
Ang tunay na puwang
at ganda mo’y nasa iyong paglaya.

There is no difference between being raped

and being pushed down a flight of cement steps

except that the wounds also bleed inside.

There is no difference between being raped

and being run over by a truck

except that afterwards men ask you if you enjoyed it.

There is no difference between being raped

and losing a hand in a mowing machine

except that doctors don’t want to get involved,

and police wear a knowing smirk,

and in small towns you become a veteran whore.

There is no difference between being raped

and going head first through a windshield

except that afterwards you are afraid

not of car but half the human race.

50 year-old Corazon (not her real name) is a mother of six.  Three of them are already married while the three others are still under Corazon’s care. She has been married for 30 years now to a jeepney driver. Sadly, her marriage has been on the rocks as her husband fails to support the family economically.
Corazon worked for Superstar Coconut Products Co., Inc. (popularly known as Superstar) for 16 years . Superstar is an export company of desiccated coconuts and is considered one of the top 2000 corporations in the country.
Corazon’s life story exemplifies the multiple layers of oppression most Filipino women face in their everyday lives. She is forced to work hard for the family notwithstanding the unfavorable conditions in her workplace.  At  home,  she  is   a  victim of domestic violence.
Corazon as a Worker
Corazon’s employment with Superstar started in 1996 when she was assigned as a “parer”.   Her job was to scalp off, with a knife, the thin and brownish coating from pieces  of  de-shelled  coconut flesh. Eventually, the company started using a paring machine to double its production.  However, the use of the machine resulted to numerous injuries that claimed the lives of some workers and so the  company  resorted back to manual operations. Corazon shared that, “Daghan ang nadisgrasya sama sa maputol ang kamot.  Gastos pud kini sa kuryente. Naa sa una, gikaon sa machine ang taas na buhok sa babae, namatay gyud sya. Paspasan man kay naga-apas  sa  quota”  (there  were  a lot of workers who were injured such as hands that were cut-off.  It was also energy extensive. There was one instance where a woman worker died after her hair was caught by the machine. We need to work faster as we must reach the quota).
 As  a regular employee, Corazon is earning P288.00 per day. However, this only happens if she can reach a quota of 1000 pieces of coconuts (clean coconut kernel) in eight (8) hours. In order to reach the quota and earn the minimum wage, Corazon was forced to bring along her children and help with the work. The “pakyawan” system requires them to finish 2,400 pieces of clean coconut. Her net income per week ranged from P200.00 to P900.00.
Corazon was very vocal against the anti-worker actions of the management such as its failure to supply the necessary equipment and gears to protect the workers from work related accidents. The employees are the ones buying them on personal expense unless they will opt to have it deducted from their salary. Corazon reacted when the new administration issued a policy of not providing the workers with the chairs needed for the work.  The administration had instead required the workers to buy the chairs on basis of salary deduction.
  Corazon lamented that, “Gipang- kwartahan  sa  bag-ong  operations   manager na si Joey ang bangko imbes nga sila ang nagaprovide niini. Wala ko nanarbaho diri para mopalit og bangko. Para ni sa akong mga anak”. (Joey, the new operations manager has made a business out of the chairs which were supposed  to  be  supplied  by  them.  We were not there to buy chairs. I work for my children). What is worse is that the company only allows the workers to use the chairs when they have visitors.
 Corazon’s vocal opposition earned the ire of Mina – a  company production inspector, which ended to a physical fight. Corazon was suspended while Mina filed a complaint against her in the barangay. Though the case was settled, Corazon refused to go back to her work as she will be transferred to another area that was not sure of having an available position.  For several years of working with Superstar, Corazon was a good employee as can be shown in the record of the company and in the reputation she has in her barangay.
Aside from the difficult working conditions, they were not provided with appropriate benefits. They were not entitled to have vacation leaves, while those who retired were not accorded with retirement pay and other benefits.  They were receiving a measly P3,000 as 13-month pay. These scenarios also happen with majority of the workers of Superstar.
Corazon as a Woman

                For 16 years, Corazon endured her work since it is her only way to feed her children. She shared that her income was never enough for her family.  “Kulang gyud ang kita labi na kay dili manghatag ang akong bana sa galastuhan sa balay” (My income was always not enough as my husband never helps in my family’s daily expenses).
                The dire condition of Corazon in the workplace is worsened by domestic violence. She was accused by her husband of having an affair with another man. Corazon had to leave their home for a while but she eventually went back because of her children.
Corazon as a Fighter

                The case of Corazon exemplifies the multiple layers of oppression experienced by majority of Filipino women. Just like Corazon, most Filipino women are being denied of their rights to stable and decent job.
           Women rights are not only violated in the workplace but also within the confines of their homes. Most cases of violence committed against women as recorded by the Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD) is economic abuse (71 percent) and followed by physical abuse (10 percent). The need to provide for their families, forces women to work even in  companies which policies are oppressive and the nature of work is difficult and dangerous.
On the positive note, Corazon’s case is  a  manifestation  of  the  women’s  courage to resist oppressive work policies.  Inevitably,  workers  will  end-up   reacting against situations that degrade their existence as humans.  The women workers and the rests of the workers of Superstar will inevitably stand united against the company’s management and further push humane and pro-worker policies.

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