REFLECTION ON THE HILDEGARD AWARDS: THE UNIQUE ROLE OF WOMEN IN MASS MEDIA

St. Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen, Sibyl of the Rhine –a play writer, a poet, a musician and a feminist. She is an exemplar woman who served others and used her God-given gifts to be an agent for social change.

March 05, 2010 –The 4th Hildegard Awards was held at St. Cecilia’s Hall. The Hildegard Award is presented to women, like St. Hildegard, who are with us today that aim for social transformation.

Every year, it has been a custom that the trophy handed to the awardees is of different design. This year’s Hildegard trophy was made by Agnes Arellano, which she named as “Goddess of Sunrise.” This trophy is a figure of a woman who is pushing the sky, which represents power and strength and it also has an eye on the forehead to signify clear sightedness.

The awardees for the 4th Hildegard Awards are Tina Monzon-Palma, Susan Fernandez and Ma. Ceres P. Doyo. They aim to achieve social transformation through the power of speech, song and pen, respectively. These women are our St. Hildegard in our time.

The first awardee is Tina Monzon-Palma, a strong advocate of social change and a true Scholastican. She is now the Program Director of Bantay Bata and Sagip Kapamilya. The second awardee is Susan Fernandez, the Nightingale of the Philippine Progressive Political Movement, and the voice of protest and revolution. Through music, she was able to express herself and use it as a tool to create social change. She was able to speak her mind through the art of music and at the same time she was able to awaken the social awareness of the people and their political consciousness. The third awardee is Ma. Ceres P. Doyo, a journalist who is very proficient in a variety of subjects in our society, such as: politics, children, women, human rights, indigenous people, poor and other relevant issues.

These women are best examples that show the unique roles of women in the field of mass media.  They convey messages that women, like us, can also be catalysts for change; that we, too, have voices and perceptions on what is happening in our reality; that these things we can see, through a women’s perspective, needs to be recognized and must be called for an action.

These women in media, are truly blessed with wonderful talents. Let me share this statement said by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo during the open forum that made an impact on me, “We are all gifted, but these gifts are not ours; yet we can use them; and it is best to use these gifts in the process of transformation of the things that are in need of change in our society.”

Tina Monzon-Palma, Susan Fernandez and Ma. Ceres P. Doyo, are just a few of those women who are dedicated in serving the society. Moreover, it is overwhelming that these three Hildegard Awardees are products of St. Scholastica’s College equipped with the Benidictine Values and is committed to the motto Ora et Labora which means “prayer and work.”

“Anyone can teach you how to hold a camera and shoot, or teach you how to write good articles, but not everyone can teach you how to capture reality and put into words the things that are in need of action. NOT EVERYONE CAN TEACH YOU HOW TO TRANSFORM THE SOCIETY, but we can teach you how WOMEN CAN BE AGENTS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE.” (Atty. Prima Jesusa Quinsayas, Hildegard Awards Closing Remarks) I believe that St. Scholastica’s College has the ability to make and mold women, like us, as advocates and agents of social transformation. Furthermore, I believe that soon enough, when we graduate, we would also be one of these women who are in the best position and are equipped with great capabilities in changing the world for the better.

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