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KASAMA December 2007
Volume 21 Number 4

Storytelling Around the Dining TableDifferences Melt Away in Aboriginal and Filipino Women Story Sharing in Fairfield

Storytelling Around the Dining Table: A Workshop with Aboriginal and Filipino Women

In August 2007, three Aboriginal elders met with five Filipino women in Fairfield, western Sydney for a few hours over three weeks to share their life stories. The circle of storytellers consisted of Yvonne Clayton, Mae Robinson and Norma Shelley (Aboriginal), and Leonida ‘Baves’ Ventura, Cora Paras, Aurora Tan, Joanna Salilas and Agnes Nethercott (Filipino). The outcome of the workshops were exhibited at the Fairfield City Museum and Gallery from October 13 to November 11 and the museum published the women’s stories. DEBORAH RUIZ WALL’s latest oral history project Storytelling Around the Dining Table: A Workshop with Aboriginal and Filipino Women was launched at the Fairfield City Museum & Gallery on 13th October 2007 with an exhibition opening that showcased Aboriginal and Filipino stories, their portraits, treasured photographs, Filipino traditional costumes, relics, and Aboriginal mementoes.


Women On Death RowInvisible Realities, Forgotten Voices: The Women on Death Row

BOOK REVIEW by Alecks Pabico (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism)

MANILA — MAY 16 2006: Women on death row and their harrowing stories of domestic violence and abuse, extreme hardships endured in silence, and childhood traumas are the focus of a new, groundbreaking study launched today by the Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) and Women’s Education, Development Productivity and Research Organization (WEDPRO).

Timed for the celebration of Mother’s Day … the book, titled “Invisible Realities, Forgotten Voices: The Women on Death Row from a Gender and Rights-based Perspective” is a product of a year-long research among inmates at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong who have been meted the death penalty [1] since it was restored on January 1, 1994.


Alston in ManilaUN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions finds the military is killing leftist activists in The Philippines

Geneva, 26 November 2007

Philip Alston, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, released today the final report on his fact-finding mission to the Philippines.


RISA HONTIVEROS ‘Heed Alston recommendations or risk further embarrassment, government told’

AKBAYAN — 28 November 2007

Calling the Alston Report an embarrassing rebuke to the government and the military before the international community, AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros said that the government, in particular the AFP, has already run out of excuses and must act decisively to stop extrajudicial killings.

“The government may find the Alston Report harsh, but it is just the first issue leveled against the Philippine government due to its poor human rights record. Early next year, the Philippines will be part of the first batch of countries whose fulfillment of human rights obligations will be scrutinized by the Human Rights Council,” Rep. Hontiveros revealed. “Under the Council’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism, the Philippines would suffer more humiliation if it fails to stop and resolve cases of extrajudicial killings.”



By Jasmine Khan

“He it is who has made the sun a source of radiant light and the moon a light (reflected), and has determined for it phases so that you might know how to compute the years and to measure (time). None of this has God created without (an inner) truth. Clearly does He spell out these messages unto people of knowledge” (Quran 10: 5).


Breast Feeding Postcard Ruling is a victory for Philippine children, says WHO

The World Health Organization, Philippines Country Representative Dr Nyuntu Soe issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision on the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order 51, or the Milk Code.

Manila, 12 October 2007

The Supreme Court has released its final decision on the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the 1986 Milk Code endorsed by the Department of Health (DOH). While we hoped for a total ban on the marketing of breast milk substitutes, the Supreme Court nevertheless reaffirmed the DOH’s power to regulate, screen, and decide on the advertising and promotional materials of these products alongside an inter-agency committee. They also insisted that the milk industry will not be part of this policy and regulating body.


Walk for Land, Walk for Justice Walk for Land, Walk for Justice

Extract from: A Position Paper on the Sumilao Farmers’ Struggle for Access to their Land

The Higaonon Indigenous Cultural Communities were the early settlers of a piece of ancestral land in Sumilao, Bukidnon. The 855 hectare ancestral land served as the Seat of Government of the Higaonons where the traditional “paghusay” (conflict resolution) and “pamuhat” (rituals) were conducted by the Higaonon tribal council lead by Apo Manuagay Anlicao and Apo Mangganiahon Anlicao. The ancestral land is a flat agricultural terrain situated in the midst of Mt. Sayawan and Mt. Palaopao, and where Mt. Kitanglad can be seen from afar. It was once termed as pinetreehon by the visitors due to the abundance of pine trees all over the place and its cold temperature. Magbabaya gave this “balaang yuta” to the Higaonon communities. It was their foreparents’.


Gates of Malacanang A Mother's Long Walk for Justice

“Pasalubong ha?” said Alvin John, 4 years old, to his mother, Marylou. Pasalubong is a gift one usually brings home from a trip.

This was Marylou’s latest conversation with her only son, when she called home with the help of Saligan, the law group assisting her. “Namingaw na mi. (I miss home.) I want to go home now,” said teary-eyed Marylou.

This scene was a far cry from the one that was happening outside the makeshift sleeping area where we were having this conversation. The agitated, militant voices of the other farmers, like Marylou, were saying outside in front of a crowd, “We will not go home until our demands are met!”


1997 Campaign Poster Sumilao Farmers Press Conference

On the WALK FOR LAND, WALK FOR JUSTICE web site at you can view a film of LINDA LIGMON and PETER TUMINHAY addressing the Sumilao Farmers press conference held at Max’s Restaurant, Quezon City Circle on October 9, 2007.

Linda Ligmon and Peter Tuminhay have been active in the Sumilao Farmers struggle for their land since 1997.

The following is an extract of the translated transcription.


John Sutton 5th UITBB meeting for Asia and the Pacific

22-24 February 2007

Manila, Philippines

The 5th UITBB conference for building workers’ unions of Asia and the Pacific centred on the question of the migrant workforce. Delegates from Australia, Bangladesh China, India, Japan, Mauritius, New Zealand, Philippines, and Vietnam attended the Manila conference. The representative from Pakistan was unable to get a visa.


Your Rights at Work logo Hospitalised guest worker faces deportation

A Filipino guest worker who contracted the potentially fatal melioidosis bacteria in Darwin believes he's been unfairly sacked.

Rico Mavotas came to Australia on a 457 guest worker visa to start a dream job. But while he recovers in hospital, he's facing the prospect of deportation if he can't find another job.


Interfaith Dialogue Logo Women, Faith and a Culture of Peace

Asia-Pacific Interfaith Symposium
February 2008
Saturday 23rd mid-afternoon to Monday 25th mid-afternoon
Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Australia

A Culture of Peace, as promoted by United Nations’ agencies, NGOs and peace educators, encompasses values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reject violence in all manifestations. It also seeks to address the root causes of conflicts and peacelessness, and to resolve them through creative and participatory non-violent strategies.