In just a couple of weeks, the world will once again commemorate the triumphant symbolism of its female populace in connection with the international celebration of Women’s History Month. And yes, March is earmarked for this notable event. Recognizing the achievements of women has been a widespread scene in every community organization especially during this season and the awarding process of such persistently serves as a defining moment of its every celebration.
But women, per se, after centuries of playing second fiddle to their male counterparts and unjustly referred to as “the weaker sex” began to evolve, embolden their status, and resurfaced with a well-structured foundation principally bannered by gender equality with more benefits for the vast majority in their league.
Many well-known female civil rights activists and women rights propagators led by Tuskegee, Alabama-born Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (Feb. 4, 1913-Oct. 24, 2005) had been staunch advocates of women rights and empowerment. It will be recalled that on December 1, 1955, the then 42-year old African-American seamstress boarded a Montgomery City bus to go home from work. She took a seat near the middle of the bus, immediately behind the 10-seat preferred reservation for the whites. The driver insisted that all the four blacks sitting just behind the section give up their seats so the whites could sit.
Rosa Parks, known for her active involvement in the local Civil Rights movement, refused to obey instructions and stood firm on her decision to hold on to her seat.
Arrested and duly convicted of violating the laws of racial segregation, commonly known as the Jim Crow laws imposed in many southern states, Rosa Parks appealed the conviction and formally challenged the legality of the said law. She earned the support of the bus-riding public that comprised 75% of daily commuters in the city and the local activists by an organized boycott that lasted for 381 days. The effect posed a serious economic threat to the bus company and a social warning to the white rule in the conurbation.
On December 1956 the Supreme Court ruled that the seat segregation was unconstitutional and the Montgomery buses were integrated. That single incident was the beginning of a revolutionary era of non-violent mass protest in support of the civil rights and equality.
The years later saw the emergence of high education rate among the women especially black with the belief that the continuing education may not serve only as a solution for development but drills deeper into the core to create a foundation for the future. As they say, power can be taken but not given…and the process of the taking is empowerment in itself…through acquisition of higher learning.
According to performer and Human Rights activist Annie Lennox: “We all fight over what the label ‘feminism’ means but it’s about empowerment. It’s not about being superior and powerful than men—it’s about having equal rights with protection, support, and justice. It’s about the very basic things…not a badge like a fashion item!”
“It turns out that the advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty, and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure, scientific and technological research increase it…creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us,” thus alleged by William J. Clinton.
Empowerment soon became better apt to women to give them that essential label of distinction to boost their most sought-after social and political equality.
Among the many existing Filipino-American community organizations this side of the eastern seaboard, the Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League, Inc. (PACCAL), has been consistently acknowledged to be the only group that duly recognizes and awards successful women in the different fields of endeavor during the international celebration of Women’s History Month.
After years of consistently recognizing and awarding outstanding Filipino-American women in their various aspects of achievements and acknowledging their relative contributions to the community, PACCAL doesn’t only duplicate successful events that manifested its worth-praising advocacy in the past but more so, to sanction the status of womanhood in our current socio-economic setting.
With impressively marked personalities that could vitally influence the youth and the next generation, these are the women who know how to negotiate, communicate, and persuade others to the things worthy of hard work with veritable accomplishments… these are the Women Achievers that PACCAL is mighty proud of.
Starting last year, PACCAL elevated the status of well-decorated women who were capable to be in the hall of fame for the copious awards and recognitions they have achieved in years…and what better way to honor them than with the Influential Women award. Composing this elite roster are impressive ladies who could aptly be tagged “The Iron Butterflies in silk cocoons” for their seemingly masculine-driven determination cushioned with cotton-soft appeal.
These magnanimously influential and benevolently endowed female leaders of today who are innately gifted with well-driven sense of responsibility and compassion, coupled with dazzling knowledgeability about their community while magnanimously utilizing their keen vision for that much-needed change and advancement.
Incidentally, this year’s PACCAL WHM Honorary Chairperson is a unanimous choice among the voting members of the Awards Committee…none other than one of the most recognized and respected community leaders around, Dr. Elma Castillo. On her hands, the success of the 2015 Women’s History Month celebration is almost in sight with her capable headship and affable camaraderie. After being recognized for her invaluable voluntary services to the community and having had honorably graced almost every known event around there’s no reason why the popular clamor for Dr. Castillo to spearhead this most awaited annual gala won’t efficiently work. She’s what you may call success personified!
As they say, silent water runs deep, and so is Rebecca Samanyaphon, 2015 PACCAL WHM Ball Chair. A hushed worker that delivers what’s expected of her, Becky’s handling the event is somewhat a huge challenge to her already tested competence but she still remains adamant about it. Her coy demeanor but with in-the-zone working mind-set laced with soft spoken ways are just among the innate traits that make her one of the most efficient (and endeared) officers of the organization. Though this is her baptism-of-fire of sort people around her bet all their trust in Becky’s confident delivery of the goods.
Bubbly with exquisite fashion taste Ramona Sansait Gapasin, 2015 WHM Ball Co-chair, remains at the edge of her seat every time a most coveted position is assigned to her…but she doesn’t complain. A tested go-getter-and-doer with well assessed end results Ramona’s claim to her community status is undoubtedly her positivity in her dealings. The gregarious PACCAL officer is a delight to work with and amazingly, her strong inspiring spirit could still be felt despite her obvious absence. Ramona, the dance floor aficionado equipped with unstoppable terpsichorean feet, as Becky’s co-chair, is clearly hinting to a preparation for a much bigger responsibility in the offing.
Indubitably, the triumvirate spearheading the event becomes like an astronomical syzygy best suited to successfully set the event on a well configured level.
“This year’s fitting slogan, ‘Fortifying Women Empowerment’, is geared towards the promotion of gender equality while strengthening the current women status to a more globally enviable level that their skills and achievements be readily documented and their struggle, aggressively addressed,” said Linda M. Mayo, PACCAL Founder and President Emeritus.
The silver-haired PACCAL Prexy added: “With the three dependable women, Dr. Elma Castillo, Becky Samanyaphon, and Ramona S. Gapasin, personally involved in the whole conceptualization process, how could one expect a failure? They’re all trust-worthy in terms of dedication and not to mention, dependable.”
Also with her hands full and unswervingly concerned about the whole scenario is PACCAL past President Rose P. Javier, the indefatigable mover-and-shaker of the organization who oversees and enthusiastically assists in the group’s activity every step of the way.
PACCAL 2015 Women’s History Month is slated on Saturday, March 28 (1:00 PM – 5:30 PM) at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 160 Frontage Road, Newark, New Jersey.
The grandiose awarding and dinner-dance gala has Black and Gold for its motif and Filipiñana or strictly evening formal for attire. Guests are requested to come in black and gold floor length gowns and Barong or dark suits. Ticket donations are pegged at $85 with non-stop social dancing and entertainment.
For ticket reservations and more info, please call: Becky Samanyaphon @ 201.616.9120; Ramona S. Gapasin @ 201.401.7232; Lumen Castañeda @ 917.538.1702; Rose P. Javier @ 201.993.8815; Linda M. Mayo @ 201.388.1260; and Bobby T. Yalong @ 201.300.5234.
For comments and suggestions, please email to: [email protected] or [email protected] 

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.