By Freddie Velez
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s common-law wife Cielito ‘Honeylet’ Avanceña was welcomed by thousands of Bulakenyas as she graced the “Pagtitipon ng mga Kababaihan” as the guest of honor at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in this city last Monday.
Accompanied by Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Secretary Christopher Lawrence (Bong) Go, Avanceña got a chance to mingle and meet the women of Bulacan, who included the Mother Leaders, Lingkod Lingap sa Nayon, Solo Parents, and Barangay Health Workers.
In her message, Avanceña encouraged men to support their wives’ endeavors as long as they don’t badly affect the family’s welfare. She also highlighted the ‘never give up’ attitude of women, adding that mothers are the first ones to be hurt whenever their child is in trouble.
“Ganyan tayong mga babae. Kahit na mayroon tayong mga trabaho, merong negosyo, merong pinagkakaabalahan, marami tayong ginagawa sa buhay natin, matiyaga tayo na kahit na gusto ng gumive-up ng iba, tayo ay nagsisilbing lakas para sa ibang tao. Hindi tayo pwedeng manghina, sumurrender lalong lalo na sa mga anak natin,” Avanceña said.
For his part, Sec. Go mentioned how the President, as the then mayor of Davao City, pushed for women’s rights by passing the Women Development Code and Anti-Discrimination Law as well as creating the Integrated Gender Development Division that led the city to be called the Gender and Development Local Learning Hub in the Philippines.
“On the national level, siniguro ng Pangulo na mapondohan upang ma-implement ang Reproductive Health Law. Bukod dito, malaki rin po ang suporta ng Pangulo sa mga kababaihan sa larangan ng entrepreneurship o ‘yung mga nasa MSME’s or We Make Change Work for Women initiative. Naniniwala po si Pangulong Duterte na malaki ang papel ng mga kababaihan sa pagdudulot ng positibong pagbabago bilang mga ilaw ng tahanan at lipunan,” Sec. Go added.
Meanwhile, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado with his Vice Governor Daniel R. Fernando believed that it is not only right to call the mothers as the “light of the home” because they are also the strong foundation of the community and the safe ground of the nation.
“Hindi maitatanggi ninuman na namumukod-tangi sa lahat ng lahi ang kababaihang Bulakenyo sapagkat ‘di lamang sila binigyan ng kariktan na tumatagos sa kaibuturan ng kagandahan bagkus ay ng busilak ring kalooban na bumubukal sa pagmamalasakit at pagkalinga at matibay na kaisipan na dinalisay ng karanasan at karunungan at pinatalas ng kinabukasan,” the governor said.
After the program, Avanceña proceeded to the Bulacan Provincial Jail and distributed packed meals to 4,344 Persons Deprived of Liberty wherein she was welcomed by a song number by the PDL as a sign of gratitude for her initiative to visit the inmates.