Many people see ‘comfort women’ survivors as victims of military sexual slavery. It is true. But my mother was more than a survivor. My mother was our hero. The hero who fought for justice for the rest of her life.

Ang tingin ng nakararami ay biktima ng sekswal na pang-aalipin ng militar ang mga ‘comfort women’. Ito ay may katotohanan. Pero ang nanay ko ay higit pa sa isang survivor. Ang nanay ko ay isang bayani. Isang bayaning nilaan ang buong buhay niya sa pakikipaglaban para makamit ang hustisya.

多くの人は、「慰安婦」サバイバーを軍隊の 性奴隷被害者とみなします。それは事実で す。だけど、母さんはひとりのサバイバーとい うだけでなく、私たちにとって英雄だったの です。生涯、正義を求めて闘い続けたヒーローなのです。

– Melinda

My Mother is More Than a Comfort Woman
Ang Aking Ina ay Higit sa Isang Comfort Woman
The Mothers’ Storybook Project Team
Illustrations by Naoko Okimoto

Four short narratives on the ‘Lolas’ or Filipino ‘comfort women’ survivors, written from the daughters’ and granddaughter’s perspectives.

There is an urgent need to find an alternative way to convey the legacy of the Lolas. Since many Lolas spoke up in the early 1990s, they have continued fighting for justice, sharing their wartime experiences, and protesting against wars in order to avoid creating another generation of ‘comfort women’. However, it is getting more and more difficult to hear their life stories from the Lolas themselves since most of them are already in their nineties and many Lolas have passed away. As of 2019, only three Lolas were still sharing their wartime experiences. Younger generations are responsible for carrying on the legacies of the Lolas.

The authors wanted to make something that was not directly depending on the Lolas themselves, but on younger generations who can act on it. Thus, they interviewed the second or third generation of the Lolas’ families. There are only a few books or other media focusing on the life stories of the Lolas. In many cases, when the ‘comfort women’ survivors were interviewed, the focus of the interviews tended to be limited to their wartime experiences. Interviewing the family members of the Lolas was a way to find out their perspectives on their mothers or grandmother, to learn how they have lived after the war and how they associated with their family and many other aspects of their lives.

We hope this book can honor the Lolas, or Filipino ‘comfort women’ survivors, as marvelous women who have continued fighting for justice and lived through the years despite all the difficulties.

Publication Year: 2021
Language: English
Format: Print
Pages: 63
Size: 10” x 7”
Selling Price: Php 350. Part of the proceeds will go to Liga ng mga Lolang Pilipina or LILA Pilipina, the organization working for comfort women issues in the Philippines. Email gantalapressorders(at)gmail(dot)com to order.

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