The New Louisian Philosophical Society (NEOLOUPHIS), in partnership with Discipuli
Legis Universitates Sancti Aloysii (DLUSA), conducted its culminating activity for the
Women’s Month, with the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender
Equality” at the Audio-Visual Room of the Waldo Perfecto Building on March 29, 2023.
The activity is composed of three lectures, delivered by Atty. Mark Gil Ramolete, Atty. Maria
Lulu Reyes, and Ms. Mia Magdalena Fokno.
To officially begin the event after the registration period at approximately 8:30 am, the
Master of Ceremonies began with the opening prayer and the singing of the national anthem,
followed by the opening remarks from the president of NEOLOUPHIS, Raymart Nebsan.
For the first lecture, Atty. Mark Gil Ramolete focused his discussion on the Violence Against
Women and Their Children Act of 2004, where he elaborated on the philosophy behind
RA9262, acts that constitute an offense to the law specifics and examples, people protected
by the law, and answered the question “Is VAWC committed solely by men?” ” He also
highlighted the term MAHALAGA, which refers to what we can do to women, and from
which he derived the phrase, MAHALIN MO at ALAGAAN MO.”
After the question-and-answer portion where Atty. Ramolete further elaborated upon the
nuances of legislation pertaining to violence against women and men, the awarding of the
certificate of recognition and the token of appreciation was spearheaded, once again, by the
NEOLOUPHIS president, Raymart Nebsan. A short 30-minute break commenced followed
by a short intermission performance by a selected group of philosophy majors.
For the second lecture, Atty. Maria Lulu Reyes imparted her wisdom on how the oppression
of women is a systematic issue and occurs in many different levels and aspects of society,
particularly in politics, education, and even within our own homes. She also expounded on
the complicated historical context behind the true catalyst of oppression in the Philippines,
and how we could decolonialize our mentality and empower the women in our communities
through Transformative Feminist Leadership. During the question-and-answer portion, Atty.
Reyes answered questions pertaining to the cognitive dissonance between transformative
feminism and the traditional and patriarchal values of a Catholic woman’s faith, the true goal
of equality in the workforce and in many other professional fields, and how to employ media
literacy in understanding and fighting for feminism in social media.
Before the assigned lunch break, Atty. Reyes was awarded her certificate of recognition and
token of appreciation, followed by another musical performance by philosophy students.
Lastly, Miss Mia Magdalena Fokno discussed the dangers of being a woman in the 21st
century, and the accompanying consequences of technological development in the face of
gender-based harassment and safety. Apart from sharing her own experiences regarding
online and in-person harassment, Miss Fokno also shared how she was able to utilize the Safe
Spaces Act to defend herself from targeted online attacks using legislation created
specifically to combat gender-based harassment. However, apart from detailing various ways
in which women and men can protect and defend themselves from online harassment, Miss
Fokno also emphasized the power of standing up for yourself in the face of detractors and the
realization of the true potential and power of women in society—or the “other half that holds
up the sky.” She began her lecture with a poignant excerpt from a Filipina poet, and ended
with another excerpt from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.
Atty. Ramolete’s and Miss Fokno’s lectures demonstrate the primary tenets of the SDG 16
and the CICM of Justice, as they discuss the improved legislation protecting women and their
children from all forms of violence and harassment through the RA 9262 and the Safe Spaces
Act—the latter which also protects LGBTQIA+ individuals and cis-heterosexual men from
harassment and targeted gender-based attacks which partially fulfills the SDG 10 of reduced
inequality. Atty. Reyes’s lecture was primarily centered around SDG 10 as she encourages the
students to reevaluate and eliminate biases and prejudices against women and other protected
groups such as indigenous groups through transformative feminist leadership and
decolonialization. In the spirit of women’s month, all lectures focused on the empowerment
of women in society with consideration to the socio-political efforts through the legislative
system, equal opportunities for women and men in the workplace, and the protection of
women’s rights and liberties, therefore fulfilling the SDG 5 tenet of gender equality.