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VOF Week 2 (Me: a girl, a farmer, a teacher and a woman)

I am excited to tell everyone reading this about my life as a simple individual.

I was born in Negros Occidental, Philippines. This province is known as sugar bowl of the country because its main product is sugar. My father was working as a "cabo", foreman watching over other workers. His pay was hardly enough for our family of 12. I saw the life's difficulty. all my older brothers and sisters were working either as planter, weeder, or cane cutter and hauler to load to the train. Being very young at that time, my task was to bring food to all of them in the farm and upon coming home gather firewood along the way.
My elder sisters and brothers did not finish elementary grades. they have to work for the family's survival. Being the youngest, I went to school because I can't work in the farm. I made good grades, and free from school fees till high school.
After high school, college education seems remote to me but I started the first two years as a working student. I experienced financial difficulty. I quit school. after 6 years, I got married and had 4 sons. One died while still 3 months due to acute bronchitis and failure to get immediate medication due to poverty. In the farm, I helped in some work to help my husband eam additional income which was never enough for our needs.
I was so affected by my son's death and decided to leave that farm and venture to the city.
I convinced my husband that I go back to college and finish my college education. My childrem that time were still 3, 2 and 1 years old. I did the work of a wife, a mother while I was also a student until I earned the teaching profession in 3 years. i've been granted a scholarship due to my good grades and graduated with honors.
My life as wife, and a student was difficult. Most often school involvement was compromised for some housework. However, I was very active in the promotion of human rights as the political situation at that time was very bad, under the regime of pres. Marcos.
After earning a degree, I taught in my alma mater. My tasks at home has not changed. Is it pure luck or whatever, I was granted scholarship to earn a Master's degree and doctorate degree by the government. In these scholarhsips I learned about gender relations being one of the courses in the curriculum. From then on, I began to work for gender equality and have a strong advocacy for women's rights.
In all these experiences, my role of being woman and a wife faced many challenges. My husband was always threatened by my involvement with the women's organization. I observed that he is trying to assert his machismo through big voice and his habitual drinking that always frightened me.
I have established linkages with women's international network and presented papers in conferences where women participants also share resources and opportunities. This is where I also learned about pulsewire, voices of women.

Comments

jadefrank's picture

Hi lourdelullu, What an

Hi lourdelullu,

What an inspiring story! The moment that you decided enough was enough and left the farm to seek education in the city - is a moment that I hope every woman has in their life. Your story is beautiful - thank you for sharing it! I am so happy that you found PulseWire.

Warm regards,
Jade

Carole's picture

Real Touching.....

Your story is very impressive. You were not limited by your circumstances. You decided to make a major change despite of your difficult past. May you continue being an inspiration to more women globally. Keep up with the great spirit.

Carol

lourdelullu's picture

thanks

carol
thank you for the comments. I find this voice of the future very relevant in making more women come out from their domestic
sphere and share their unique talents to be known by others.
For me this is a venue that gave me chance to ventilate what has been in my heart for a long time which may have effect on oothers.

Lourdelullu

Genice Jacobs's picture

VOF Week 2 assignment

Hi Lourdelullu,

I'm Genice and I've been assigned to be your listener for VOF Week 2. Your story is very inspiring. It is a story of determination and success in the face of great challenges and heartbreak. You are living proof that with a strong will, nothing is out of reach.

I loved reading your story. I would have been interested in hearing more about your relationship with you husband and family and how those relationships have or haven't evolved as you have received more education and more success in your professional life. Also, I would have loved to read more about how your personal experience and heartbreak motivated you to go to the city and continue your education. I would also be interested to hear of the social pressures you have you faced in your community and what gave you the courage to persist in the face of those pressures?

Great job overall. Keep writing and studying and teaching. You are an inspiration to woman around the globe.

Cheers,
Genice

Oakland, California, USA

Genice Jacobs
Profluence

lourdelullu's picture

thanks

dear Genice
I am also touched by your positive and encouraging comments about my story. of course there are still untold portion of that story which I will reveal in time.
Yes when I start to pursue higher level of education,my husband's reaction include the burden of raising our children alone because the scholarship I got requires that I stay in Manila which is about 500 miles away and I have to stay there for 2 years to finish a Master's degree.
There was a time when I have to come home before I finish my thesis because he seemed to withdraw from taking care of the 3 boys. To console him, I also encourage him to study as well and finished his college education. When I finished my degree, he also had finish his degree.
You know, the greatest barrier to our success as women are our husband who at times feel so insecure about our sucess the threat they perceive in us. However, I never waver to the challenges. I have been chosen to chair the team for the sexualy abused children and he saw the risk in the work. But he knows I am a good influence to the local government to act based on our advocacy.. so he just supported.
when I read your comments, I feel like crying because I find strength and support from you who very well understand my cause. my struggle and vision. I have some papers to be presented in international conferences on women issues. I get strength from here despite the lack of logistical support for my travel.
Next week, I will be in Vietnam to present a paper on sexuality... with no scholarship support. Up to this time am still asking for generous individuals to support me of my travel and registration. All these are part of the threats to my commitment to women advocacy.
thank you for being there to listen and understand.

Sincerely

Lourdelullu

I wish to respond to the points raised by Genice.. how did I overcome the pressures I met to continue my education.
The pressure was very strong. I think I really experience the hardship of the farmers who are victims of export-oriented production. While farming, I feel that we could hardly have enough food. We raised crop that went directly to the middlemen.. leaving us few grains to survive for few weeks. Then the cycle of land preparation starts and the farmers will have to plant for another's benefit. Because of this, I decided to leave farming as farmers have no food and wallow in extreme poverty.
As women, we also need to assert what is good for us based on our individual capabilities. Getting education can liberate us not only from ignorance but also from the ill-effects of patriarchy. Until I cannot consider myself totally free. however, the challenge must be faced... it is still long way...still a winding one but exciting and fulfilling

molliv's picture

split responsibilities

thank you so much for opening up and sharing such personal experiences. i can't even imagine how difficult it must be to not only find who you are but then make strives to achieve the person you want to be, when various other aspects of your life demand so much attention. your kids, your husband, your work, and school all seem like full time jobs to me. do you sleep?

i would have liked to know more about how you discovered worldpulse and what you think it can do for you, as well as what you can do for the other women reading. i look forwardto learning more about you!

~molli

Don't let your worries get the best of you. Remember, even Moses started out as a basket case.

Molli,
I like your question. "do you sleep?" i never imagine someone would ask me that. Yeah, I still have time to sleep and find sleeping as a short intermission to another suspenseful undertaking. I thank God for making me very productive mentally.
I find writing a very good hobby to express the inner feelings. I've been given by a community newspaper a column where I write twice a week. I did this for a year without any compensation. What's fulfilling was some schools have been following up the issues and make my writings as article for reaction or reflections.
I read about world pulse through AWID's weekly announcement that I regularly get, then I ventured into participating as I believe that i have something to share. those who will be able to read can learn that our "queendom" is not only our house-band. There is a larger community whom we can relate with where we learn and we can allow to learn with us. when you start to appreciate the events in my life... i realize the many blocks that I have hurdled... and overcome. thank you

Lou

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