Hats off to Sunita, Jackie and my fellow Pinay, MalayaPilipinas! I have read some of your writings and I found them compelling and powerful enough to merit the recognition you got.We are all proud to have you represent our group before an international audience.
Hats off also to all of us who went through the collective journey of using words and images to convey the urgent messages from the different societies we live. The end of the journey or the awarding of those whose work stood out for its originality and excellence is important, even though it triggers some soul searching on the rest of us as to where we falter or where we could have done better. But its all part of the learning process.
I prefer to focus on celebrating that journey and what an exciting and fulfilling journey it was for me.
Through the VOF, i found time ( precious time squeezed out from my often-crowded schedules) to sit down and write, which i never thought was possible.Through the VOF, i was able to link with remarkable women who share diverse views and passions. Through the VOF, I was able to write news, opinion and journals---thus honing my writing ability while becoming a voice to the voiceless. Through the journey, i have gained some insights and lessons learned about my self, as to what it takes to be a journalist in my country where human rights violations are done with impunity and these are the "awards" that I am holding now in my heart.
Thank you Jennifer, thank you Jensine and thank you Scott for the support and encouragement you showed to all of us . Most of all, I would like to thank my mentor, my friend LeTonia, whose words of wisdom and empowerement helped me through a rather difficult period in my life and who continue to be there for me even up to now .