Today, Gina Lopez. Trailing her, Leni Robredo. Before her, Leila de Lima. Oh, of course, how could we not mention Imelda Marcos, Cory Aquino, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They’re examples of Filipino women breaking through the glass ceiling, yet… why and how did their stories end in tragedy?
Used, I say. Pawns in the high-stakes Game of the Generals. Look at each of their publicly-lived lives and you’ll see M.E.N as the common element, invisible perhaps, but very palpable. But where were these M.E.N in the end, when they ought to have shown up as knights in shining armor? What was that line in the song? Naglaho. In the end, these women faced the mob alone, perhaps wondering as they look out to the crowd how did they end up as meat for the dogs.
But, surely their participation in the Game was with their consent despite their knowledge of the consequences? In other words, the serpent’s sugar loaded words was not an acceptable justification for Eve’s decision hence action. At the end of the day, each individual, man or woman, is accountable for his or her own decisions and actions. At this point, Paul Anka’s Don’t Gamble With Love floats through my head:
Don’t gamble with love
It’s only for fools
So play by the rules…
Oh don’t gamble with love
You’ll lose it for sure
There’d be no cure
When you gamble with love.
You can gamble your house,
gamble your car…
(But) Don’t gamble with love.
In the case of mining, or should I say irresponsible mining, the real enemy is from within (the agency) in the form of licenses that have been continously renewed despite findings from monitors. There is a law, system, and procedure that ensues from noncompliance. But how was it that noncompliant companies were renewed their licenses? This is the standing question across all or most government agencies here not only the DENR. The HLURB and LGUs and real estate developers, for instance. How were development fees allocated back by recipients of the fees for community development? Thus take out or put a stop to the real enemy and irresponsible profit-making (and continuing poverty of the masses) should end. In any case, Ms. Lopez made a gamble, choosing to move away from what was evidently the right set of cards in front of her. Ms. Lopez is a seasoned CEO. Why would she not see that? This was the part that didn’t fit.
Then, oh, in April there was yet another female face plastered on the front pages of national dailies. A police officer. Allegedly, she had been coddling a high-ranking member of the ASG. She is his lover, reportedly. Blah blah. There was nothing on the man’s story of their relationship which made the affair as if entirely manipulated by the woman. Perhaps it was, perhaps not. Who knows?
Which brings us back to the word pawns. Women pawned by other women, men, institutions. Still, women, those “foolish” enough, make a gamble. We would’ve wanted these women to win, if only for the sake of the female species, but apparently opponents are stronger, wilier, more embedded. I guess what women need to have to be able to stand their own ground on their terms, to break away from becoming pawns just so to break through the glass ceiling, are a winning combination of goods to gamble with, the right mix of rules to play with, and an impenetrable machinery that is the sisterhood.