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Change amid struggle in gender equality—UST Psychology professor

Effectuate change because “the battle will always be a constant struggle” in gender equality within institutions, UST Psychology professor urged advocacy groups and organizations on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

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Photo from UST Hiraya's Facebook page

Effectuate change because “the battle will always be a constant struggle” in gender equality within institutions, UST Psychology professor urged advocacy groups and organizations on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

“Let’s continue making them realize that this is not just something that’s out of the blue—that it’s something that’s scientifically based, that there’s evidence to prove our point,” Dr. Marc Eric Reyes said in a webinar. 

Reyes, who is also the incumbent president of the Philippine Psychological Association, stressed the importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) research.

He also emphasized the importance of being an advocate and to immerse in the LGBT+ community while doing research. 

“We’re not doing research not to make the community like guinea pigs. You’d like to do research because you’d like them to be understood, their life, their struggles, their strengths. It will make your research sincere, not just a mere paper,” Reyes said.

Practice intersectionality 

Gender equality advocate Anton Paderanga called on individuals and institutions to practice intersectionality to realize the complexities of struggles and intersecting oppressions.

According to Paderanga, intersectionality can help find ways to achieve equality and recognize personal privileges that hinder progress. 

“The main goal of intersectionality is to really create that inclusive community. We should make sure that institutions, structures of power are able to uphold through authentic genuine equality and inclusivity,” he said.

Paderanga added that by using the so-called “safe space toolkit,” which includes empathy, leadership and accountability, among others, advocates can already introduce to people concepts of diversity and belongingness in all spaces.

“It also allows us to use our voice. When you see something that’s wrong, we make a stand. It gives us an opportunity to collaborate with other people,” Paderanga, who also hosts ‘Your Safe Space’ podcast, stated.

UST Hiraya’s two-day webinar series “Hiraya Talks: Pagkakapantay-pantay” talked about various issues and concerns on gender, inclusivity, and equality.

It was co-presented with UST UNESCO Club, Mental Health AWHEREness, and FEU Saga, in partnership with TomasinoWeb, Benilde Hive, Sanggunian: Commission on Gender Equality, The Malaya Initiative, JRU – Junior Photographic Editors and Graphic Artists, and UST UNICEF. 

 

READ  Equality fight ‘far from over’—LGBT rights advocates

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Artlets theater guild premieres first online play

According to writer and director Sophia Eugenio, Artistang Artlets spent over four months planning “Kisapmata” before the actual preparations began to ensure that all concerns in an online theater setup were addressed.

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Faculty of Arts and Letters official theater guild Artistang Artlets (AA) premieres its first online production this March.

According to writer and director Sophia Eugenio, AA spent over four months planning “Kisapmata” before the actual preparations began to ensure that all concerns in an online theater setup were addressed. 

“That’s four months of endless meetings,” Eugenio said. 

Despite the lack of face-to-face interaction, the organization tried to preserve the theater experience from rehearsals to recording.

“It seemed weird at first, stretching limbs and shouting in front of a laptop for voice warmup, but overtime we got used to it. This is theater’s new normal,” Eugenio shared.

Rehearsals were arranged based on the actors’ class schedules to guarantee that no classes will be compromised. 

However, the unstable internet connection brought by the series of typhoons last November, according to Eugenio, forced the guild to postpone rehearsals. 

“I wanted to make a production calendar na feasible for everyone kaya adjustments were made…[e]specially nung sunod-sunod na linggo may bagyo. Ang daming nawalan ng internet so we had no rehearsals,” Eugenio said. 

“It’s like everything was happening so fast—kisapmata talaga,” she added.

Behind the scenes

The psychology-inspired play, Kisapmata, was shot in one take and features the story of three characters—Sam, Lucy, and Kyle—who control the mind of a boy named Alex.

“Despite the technicalities ng pagrecord and pagstitch ng introductory clip sa beginning and commentary sa end ng play, it’s still theater—the play itself was done in one take and walang cuts in between,” Eugenio explained. 

The play, according to its director, made use of Sigmund Freud’s id, ego, and superego to flesh out three of the four characters.

“In a nutshell, Kisapmata is about internal chaos—basically addressing the rapid flow of thoughts, doubts, choices, and feelings in our heads,” Eugenio said.

Part of the adjustment involves the script, to which the director highlighted was really tailored for an online production. 

“First time ng AA to do an online play and magkaibang-magkaiba ‘yung platform ng actual stage sa, you know, Zoom, kaya I doubt na we can do a for-stage script enough justice considering na we’re still adjusting. Kaya I wrote a script na fashioned talaga for an online play,” she said.

“Kisapmata” is live streamed on Artistang Artlets’ Facebook page from  March 1 to 5, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The play was originally scheduled on December 2 to 6 last year, however, the organization announced on December 3 that the play could not be shown that week.

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UST acquits senior high student who violated code of conduct

A Senior High School (SHS) student accused of joining the progressive organization, Anakbayan, was acquitted by the UST-SHS administration on Thursday, Feb. 25.

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A Senior High School (SHS) student accused of joining the progressive organization, Anakbayan, was acquitted by the UST-SHS administration on Thursday, Feb. 25.

In a letter dated Feb. 15, the UST-SHS Student Welfare and Development Committee cleared Grade 11 student Lance Avery Alo of his case due to lack of sufficient evidence. 

“I welcome the decision of UST with open arms as it is a victory for students who stand true to their principles,” Alo told TomasinoWeb.

According to the UST-SHS Code of Conduct and Discipline, recruitment of students to unrecognized organizations, both on and off-campus, as well as membership in illegal organizations, are prohibited. 

However, the code failed to specify what constitutes being an “illegal” and “unrecognized” organization. 

Alo stressed that the student body should be empowered instead of condemned for having progressive views. 

“Our fight does not end here. We still need to review and remove old policies and practices that serve as a hindrance to the fundamental formation of the students,” he added.

Last Jan. 30, SHS Student Council member Shoti Ampatuan revealed that the University barred him from enrolling in the following term due to his affiliation with Anakbayan UST-SHS.

The League of Filipino Students-UST accumulated over 2,500 signatures, as of writing, urging the SHS administration to overturn its decision on Ampatuan’s dismissal. Paolo Alejandrino

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Thomasian nursing student named ‘education hero’ by US organization

US-based organization Youth Service America awarded a Thomasian nursing student for spearheading a literacy program for Filipino youth. 

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US-based organization Youth Service America awarded a Thomasian nursing student for spearheading a literacy program for Filipino youth. 

Qjiel Mariano, as announced by the University yesterday, Feb. 23, has been recognized as an “education hero” for starting the Ladders to Literacy program, which aims to teach illiterate children to read and write. 

“Ladders to Literacy is a literacy initiative under Streets to Schools in which we teach illiterate kids how to read & write and measure it by having them publish their own storybook,” Mariano, founder of youth-led organization Street to Schools, told Tomasinoweb.

Youth Service America also acknowledged Mariano’s effort to extend his hand to help Filipino children amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has rallied numerous efforts to be able to provide radios, hygiene kits, school kits, and more to ensure that distance learning can thrive among those left behind the most,” the organization said. 

‘Making a difference’

According to Mariano, Ladders to Literacy was inspired by children who were bullied for being illiterate. He believed that literacy is a “fundamental human right” and a “basic skill” one must possess to promote equality. 

“This is why we must commit to ensuring everyone is able to read and write, not just to end small grassroot problems like bullying, but to ensure that every child may grow up to become proactive citizens,” he said. 

“We envision them to become both literate and passionate about making a difference especially that it is their future at stake,” he added. 

With nurses being the “heart of the hospital,” Mariano expected to be always at the forefront of human dignity just like other professions. 

Being a nursing student also influenced Mariano to improve his organizational skills and his interpersonal relationships. 

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