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When music heals

/ 01:08 PM October 13, 2013

The pink month of October is being observed with a lot of activities ranging from free breast examinations, fun runs, informative talks and promotional sales concerning women’s health and wellness. But the Legal Alternatives for Women Center Inc. (LAW Inc.), believing in the healing power of music, is organizing a mini concert participated in by fifteen women survivors of domestic violence. The survivors who come from Cebu Province and City have availed of the free legal and other services of LAW Inc. like psychosocial sessions, livelihood training and computer literacy. Initiated by LAW Inc.’s counselor, Portia Dacalos, the concert is part of the healing process, giving them an opportunity to express themselves and regain their self confidence. It is also an occasion to socialize. In their initial rehearsals which they do every Wednesday and Saturday, some of them expressed excitement that they could sing. Their psychosocial sessions, livelihood workshops and rehearsals have provided much time for bonding. Portia requested Dr. Catherine Rodel, trainer-conductor of UP SERENATA, the choral group of UP Cebu, to hone the group’s musical talent. The group will perform twelve songs with the special participation of the UP Serenata. Aptly called “When Music Heals,” the mini concert will be held on November 29, 2013 at seven in the evening at the Cebu Cultural Center, UP Cebu Campus, Lahug. As the concert title suggests, it is hoped that music whether in a concert or not helps heal victims of domestic violence.

This creative way of empowering women using the performing arts as the medium has also dawned on some women advocates last summer. Five women who used to be with cultural groups in the anti-dictatorship movement met four times to map out plans for women advocates to explore and exploit the talents of their constituents. One of the plans was to perform the works, deeds and lives of artist women trailblazers. To recall, the 100 Cebuana Trailblazers (Sugbuanang Tag-una) was a project of the LAW Inc. for the Provincial Women’s Commission in 2005 and 2010. The Cebuana Trailblazers etched on Heritage Cards provides a rich source of women for study. Originally conceived as the Kapunungan sa mga Babayeng Artista, the idea springs from the belief that women are culture bearers as well as memory keepers. Music, theater arts and the visual arts are being considered for the main activities of the year, the Women’s month in March and the 18 days campaign against violence against women from November 25 to December 10. Let us support these women survivors by attending their concert. The concert tickets are sold at a minimal price of 100 pesos considering the limited capacities of the performers themselves. For inquiries or tickets, contact LAW Inc. office tel. nos. 254-1930 or 253-1598.

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LAW Inc. continues to expand its partnership yesterday, October 12, as it launched its partnership with the US Embassy Manila through Media Advocacy on Radio, TV and online reach at the third floor of the Mariners’s Court in Pier 1.

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I would like to thank the Sidlak Gender Resource Center of Region 7 based in UP Cebu with Dr. Rhodora Bucoy as the head for recognizing me, Sofia A. Logarta, Portia Dacalos and Rosario Montano in the 9th anniversary of Sidlak and also the 3rd anniversary of UP Cebu’s autonomy last September 24, for having served in the GAD Committee of UP Cebu since its founding in 1990.

On September 29, a tribute to Maestro Villareal and Susan Fuentes was held at the Halad Museum. The classic pieces of the Maestro were performed by Girlie Lapinid and the UV Chorale Group. Mil Villareal’s compositions are very familiar to me because I grew up with his music heard over the radio, performances during musical shows and stage plays in local fiestas.

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October is also National Teachers’ Month (not just a day) and I remember with gratitude all my teachers from Kindergarten up to graduate school for giving themselves and bringing out the best in me and teaching me not only to pay back but also to pay forward. On Teachers’ Month I also remember all my former students for all the challenges posed before me and especially those who assisted me in my time of need when I was hospitalized for kidney problems whether financially or through prayers and wishes and greetings.

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