Welcome to CHICAS, our podcast where we hope to share life stories of Filipina women, as well as discussions on art, literature, and feminism in the Philippines.
For this pilot episode, we shall be featuring the stories of Filipina women workers in celebration of Labor Day. Labor Day was first observed in the Philippines on May 1, 1903 when thousands of workers marched through Malacañang to demand fair working conditions. Some books that you can check out on the history of the movement are Judy Taguiwalo’s Babae, Obrera, Unyonista; Ma. Luisa Camagay’s Working Women of Manila in the 19th Century; and Rosario Torres-Yu’s Welgang Bayan: Empowering Labor Unions Against Poverty and Repression. Of course, you can also check out Gantala Press’ own publications, Mamumuo: Mga Akda ng Kababaihang Manggagawa ng NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU, and Daloy: Collected Writings by the Filipino migrant women of Batis AWARE.
We begin with an interview with Ka Nitz Gonzaga, former Vice Chairperson for Women’s Affairs of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). Having studied with GABRIELA, Ka Nitz became an activist during Martial Law. She started out as an office secretary at the National Federation of Labor Unions. At 80, Ka Nitz continues to fight for workers’ rights especially those of women’s.
The podcast will end with a reading of a poem by Regent Food Workers’ Union leader Melanie de la Cruz.
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