On Making Her Difference: The Women of San Vicente, Palawan
SAN VICENTE, Palawan – Project Her Difference is an eco-focused collaboration between Mayor Pie Alvarez, singer Kat Agarrado, and Cream Silk. Through a series of lectures and cleanup activities, the project empowers women to nourish our country’s overlooked natural beauty. Cream Silk guest advocate Eugene Bandoma, an 18 year-old pre-med student from UERM, and 20 other young women from the Palawan State University participated in the project’s first leg, which was held in San Vicente, Palawan.
San Vicente’s 24 year-old Mayor Pie Alvarez plans to develop the coastal town into an ecologically sustainable tourist destination. At 14 kilometers long, San Vicente is home to the Philippine’s longest beach. Mayor Pie opened the Her Difference talks by motivating the young women to speak up and act. “Being a member of the youth, I know it’s important that we have a voice,” she said. “It’s important that you, as women, have a say in what’s happening in San Vicente.”
Kat Agarrado, leader of the band SinoSikat?, is also an advocate against climate change. She lends her voice to the Dakila Collective—a group of Filipino artists who use their creative talents to address various national issues. Kat is an advocate for their Tik Tok Pilipinas campaign, which calls for climate action. “Women are divine,” said Kat during her talk. “It’s in our nature to care and to nurture. Let’s channel these energies towards preserving and protecting our environment.”
In pre-Hispanic Philippines, women—as babaylan—held the role of thought leaders, spiritual guides, and community movers. On the last quarter of 2012, the 20 young women who participated in the Her Difference talks had rallied over a hundred locals to join what became a massive, women-led coastal cleanup. Project Her Difference seems to draw from our deeply-rooted babaylan past, reminding women of their inner beauty and empowering them to create a brighter future for our country.
Watch the video to see how it all transpired.