On Valentine’s Day, February 14, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman stood in solidarity against violence towards women and children, hosting its local iteration of ‘One Billion Rising’(OBR). This annual global initiative strives to eradicate violence against women, drawing participants from across the UP Diliman community and beyond.

Women, gender advocates, and supporters convened at Benton Hall to partake in a program with speeches from University officials and civil society leaders, cultural performances, and a collective mural painting activity, signaling a united front against gender-based violence.

UP Faculty Regent Carl Marc Ramota underscored the University’s commitment, saying “UP has an institutional responsibility to keep its campuses free from gender-based violence, and a safe haven for political thought and action.”

Echoing this sentiment, UP Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (Student Affairs) Shari Oliquino, affirmed her office’s support. “Kasama po ninyo ang ating opisina sa pagpapahayag ng ating matibay na paninindigan laban sa karahasan batay sa kasarian.”

(Rest assured, our office stands firmly against gender-based violence.)

Oliquino also emphasized the interconnectedness of gender-based violence with the oppression faced by workers, farmers, and indigenous peoples.

“Kayâ, kukunin ko na rin ang pagkakataong ito para anyayahan iyong ating estudyante sa buong UP Diliman at UP System na patuloy po nating aralin iyong ating lipunan. Lumubog po táyo kasama ang masang apí,” she added.

(So, I will also take this opportunity to invite our students from all over UP Diliman and the UP System to continue studying our society. Let us immerse ourselves with the oppressed masses.)

The event also saw the creation of ‘Bigkisan,’ a mural symbolizing unity against gender oppression, under the leadership of cultural organization Tambisan sa Sining.

This mural, adorning Benton Hall’s perimeter, aims to visually encapsulate the collective struggle for gender liberation intertwined with the broader fight against societal inequities.

“Iyong pamagat ng mural ay ‘Bigkisan.’ Ibig sabihin ay [kailangan na] ang lahat ng kababaihan at lahat ng kaalyado ay magsama-sama para palayain iyong kasarian. Nangangahulugan ding iyong paglaya ng kasarian ay nakaangkla sa paglaya ng uri. So dapat ipagtagumpay ang demokratikong pakikibaka at ibagsak ang imperyalismo, piyudalismo, at kapitalismo. Sa gayon, tuluyang mapapalaya ang kasarian,” Tambisan sa Sining Chairperson Jo Tanierla told DZUP.

(The title of the mural is ‘Bigkisan.’ It means that all women and all allies must come together to liberate gender. It also means that the liberation of gender is anchored in the liberation of class. Therefore, we must win the democratic struggle and overthrow imperialism, feudalism, and capitalism. In this way, gender can be fully liberated.)

Tanierla also delved into the mural’s symbolic use of color and imagery, noting the predominant use of red to signify the intrinsic power within individuals to champion their independence.

This, he explained, is achievable through collective struggle, visually represented by figures connected by a purple ribbon, the emblem of women’s activism, breaking chains of oppression.

“Generally one color: kulay pulá. Iyong balat ng mga tao ay kulay pulá. Sumisimbolo na nása tao mismo. Nása kaniya; siya ang magtataguyod ng kaniyang sariling kasarinlan. Siyempre, makukuha lang ‘to sa sama-samang pakikibaka,” he explained.

Contributions from other performers, including Kontra-GaPi, UP Diliman’s resident ethnic music and dance ensemble, engaged OBR participants with their performances.

The event also saw participation from students, parents, and teachers of Batibot Early Learning Center, who danced in hope of ending abuse against all genders and children.

OBR 2024 was organized by UP Diliman Gender Office, Gabriela, and the Gabriela Women’s Party. — with reports from Rex Espiritu and Ria Bautista

By using this site, you are giving permission to store and access cookies, unique identifiers, personal data, and information on your browsing behavior on this device. Privacy information is available here, and terms are available here.