By the end of the ’eighties, there were enough of us already experienced in organizing, in planning campaigns, in mobilizing resources for events that few should have been surprised that thousands of women across the country—sharing a strong urge to make a future where unjust traditions that limited women could be overturned if we worked together—could create the streams of a women’s movement. The confidence we gained in our participation in the successful bloodless EDSA revolt gave us the momentum to create the women’s coalitions, alliances and networks that rose to prominence in the ’nineties. Each formation usually came together to address a specific issue. The idea was to gain visibility, and to gain enough political leverage, by bringing different women’s NGOs together to work for a common cause. In theory, the more numerous the organizations working as part of a formation, the more impressive it appeared as a political force.

– From “Letter to Florence” by Anna Leah Sarabia

Lighting the Fire: Stories of the Women’s Health Rights Movement in the Philippines
Edited by Florence M. Tadiar with Neferti Xina M. Tadiar

The fulfillment, respect, protection, and enjoyment of the right of all women to attain and maintain the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, based on their informed decisions, evolved
as the long term goal of what became the Women’s Health Rights Movement (WHRM) in the Philippines. After almost half a century of activities by various leaders and participants, who were often brought
together by different reasons, issues, and causes, to provide for, inform, educate, and advocate for health services, programs, or policies and laws, that would lead to the attainment of this goal, these trailblazing
activists (Pinay “origs”) are again realizing that, without continuous guarding of victories won and further social change, women’s health rights will constantly be under attack.

This collection of personal stories and reflections on the women’s health movement from the view of its pioneer advocates and service providers aims to provide others with the inspiration to carry on and to
guide future generations in “keeping the fire burning.”

Cover art by Yllang Montenegro

Publication Year: 2021
Language: English
Format: Print
Pages: 196
Size: 6” x 9”
Selling Price: Php 550. Order from

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