BONTOC, Mountain Province – In compliance with health protocols, this capital town has scaled down the celebration of Women’s Day through a program attended by officials and employees of the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) and partner national government agencies on March 8, 2022, at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol Auditorium.
In his message, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey remarked that Women’s Day which is celebrated in March of every year signifies the importance of the celebration not only for women but for men to give due recognition to the rights of women and their achievements, contributions, and roles in the community.
Dr. Penelope Domogo, a Grand Achiever for Health in 1992, 1992 Most Outstanding Rural Health Physician Awardee from the Eusebio S. Garcia, a National Bayani ng Kalusugan Awardee in 2016, former Municipal Health Officer of Besao and then Bontoc, and retired Provincial Health Officer I of the Provincial Government of Mountain Province is the guest speaker during the Women’s Day celebration in this capital town.
An advocate of healthy living, her message focused on rediscovering indigenous health practices, systems, and values to recover health and wellness. According to her, reclaiming our healthy indigenous lifestyle is the major path for development and happiness.
She said that Bontoc has retained much of its traditional values, knowledge, and practices which she appreciated, learned, and adapted to having an indigenous healthy and happy life.
She connected the empowerment of women by having a happy and healthy life. Dr. Domogo mentioned that the women’s movement which gave birth to the Women’s Day celebration is a movement for women empowerment. She added that one cannot have power if she is sick and cannot do the things she wants to do because she is sick. She believes that having power is being calm and pleasant even under stress which can be attained if one is healthy.
With this, she urged everyone to live happy and healthy by using the resources that we have as these are God’s gifts.
“What happens to one affects the other. When one member of the family does good, all members are happy. When we plant trees in our backyard, it will make our surroundings cooler, including our neighbors. We plant love, we harvest love. Action produces a reaction. In other words, the key to health and wellness is living in harmony with nature,” Dr. Domogo emphasized.
Likewise, Dr. Domogo lauded Mayor Odsey for being an advocate of a healthy lifestyle by regularly playing tennis as his form of exercise and recreational activity and harnessing the indigenous systems through the Council of Elders.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Eusebio Kabluyen in his closing message joined the municipal officials and male employees of the Bontoc LGU in honoring the women for their remarkable contributions to the community.
As part of the celebration, male employees of the Bontoc LGU and a male police officer from the Bontoc Municipal Police Station (MPS) serenaded the women with songs.
Other Officials present during the celebration are Sangguniang Bayan members Viola Okko, Jerome Tudlong, Jr., Esteban Nguddo, and John Engngeg.
The theme for this year’s Women’s Month celebration which was carried from that of last year and which will remain until this year 2022 is, “WE (Women Empowerment) Make CHANGE Work for Women”. This is a month-long celebration of women’s role and contribution to nation-building as agents of national development.
Meanwhile, the 2022 National Women’s Month Celebration has its sub-theme: “Agenda ng Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran.” It is a celebration of women exercising their choices, taking chances to make their voices heard, and benefitting from and trailblazing changes.
Proclamation No. 227 series of 1998 provides for the observance of March as Women’s Role in History month while Republic Act 6949 series of 1990 declares March 8 of every year as International Women’s Day.