Fil-Ams lead education against domestic abuse
DALY CITY, California — It takes an entire community.
For the first time since ALLICE Alliance for Community Empowerment was formed in 2003, the Filipino American-initiated movement to build healthy relationships and homes through education staged its yearly event at a municipality’s most respected space.
Daly City, home to the highest concentration of Filipinos in the continental United States, flung wide open its doors to host ALLICE’s 15th annual Free from Violence presented every October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States.
October is also Filipino American History Month, hence the double commemoration of Filipino American advocacy against a societal problem that claims a victim every three seconds.
Following the all-volunteer nonprofit’s tradition of uniting the community to confront and combat the silent enemy, elected and appointed officials joined advocates and resource providers in spurring action Oct. 3, at the chambers of the City Council composed of four Fil-Ams out of five members.
Founding partner Philippine Consulate General and new allies Jun and Tessie Madrinan, Nenar and Flor Nicolas, Armi Labitan and Tom Solinger co-presented the yearly autumn gathering to encourage discussion of the issue and how to prevent abuse.
Deputy Consul General Raquel R. Solano led the recitation of ALLICE’s Pledge to help End Intimate Partner & Family Abuse. On behalf of Mayor Ray Buenaventura, who was unable to attend, Vice Mayor Glenn Sylvester, Council Members Juslyn Manalo, Rod Daus-Magbual and Pam DiGiovanni reinforced their town’s status as a Welcoming City with a commendation to ALLICE for its efforts to foster safey, beginning at home.
In his keynote, San Mateo County Supervisor and former Daly City Mayor David Canepa emphasized the “need for every sector of the community to come together to prevent another incidence of intimate partner abuse.” He punctuated his remarks by recognizing ALLICE founding president Bettina Santos Yap for 16 years of advocating for healthy interaction.
Santos Yap, a former IT marketing manager-turned-pastry chef, designs all of the team’s outreach tools and directs the dramatization of unhealthy interaction and healthy alternatives for their annual spring elder care and abuse prevention.
Since 2004, she has never missed an ALLICE event. When she received a call moments before the starting the 2008 program at the War Memorial Center in Daly City that her father had been rushed to the hospital in Manila, she opted to remain at her post with her husband and fellow volunteer Voltaire Yap while waiting for updates. Minutes later when another call delivered the dreaded news that she had lost her father, she chose to stay at the presentation, pouring her grief into her advocacy to honor him.
“Bettina sets the bar high for being a Kumare,” ALLICE founder Cherie Querol Moreno praised her confidante and collaborator. “Her dedication energizes all of us and assures us that together we can achieve everything we aspire to.”
The ALLICE executive director also hailed Colma Mayor and longtime ALLICE Kumare Joanne del Rosario, who shared her story of survival from a challenging 13-year relationship that brought out her inner strength, courage and resiliency.
“Joanne is extremely private, but to give hope to others in similar situations, she opened up about her experience. Her testimony depicts what intimate partner abuse looks like. On one hand, it’s about uncertainty, fear and shame. On the other hand – as was in her case – it summoned her inner strength, resiliency, and faith.”
Del Rosario was unaware of the dynamics of abuse and questioned herself, believing her then-partner’s constant put-downs. Loyal to her wedding vows, she stayed, thinking he would change if she met his expectations. She did not realize that people who abuse act out of a sense of entitlement. Whatever effort she made to save the relationship was never good enough. She tried to leave once only to return to him after he apologized. She might have stayed had not a neighbor who was in law enforcement and mandated to report suspicious incidences convinced her that her and her infant son’s lives were at risk due to her husband’s behavior.
“I felt safe because my parents gave me refuge without judgment,” Del Rosario said in her testimony to the power of unconditional love that ultimately brings healing.
In fact, the circle of support for people in troubled relationships spans public and private, even church, entities. Hence the commendation to the Dolorosa Knights of Columbus and Legion of Mary Dolorosa Knights of Columbus and Legion of Mary for sponsoring ALLICE’s spring elder care and elder abuse prevention presentation
Completing the circle are Inquirer.net, Positively Filipino, Philippine News Today, Lucky Chances, Moonstar, Mater Dolorosa Knights of Columbus, Asian American Recovery Services – HealthRight360, Holy Child & St. Martin Episcopal Church, Kumpare Dr. Jei Africa, Jim McGuire/Best Western Plus Grosvenor Hotel, Royalty Auto Collision Center, Kaiser Permanente Filipino Association, Perla Ibarrientos, Cafe Savini, Noah’s Bagels, Hapag Filipino, Kuya’s Asian Cuisine, Baby & Boy Pastries, Hapag Filipino, Fort McKinley, Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center, Ed & Lydia Pomposo, Edd Palomar, and Joaquin Miguel & Matias Christopher Moreno, who shared resources to mount the presentation.
Community partners AARS – Health Right 360, Asian Women’s Shelter, Catholic Charities Immigration Services, CORA, Daly City Partnership/HART, FALEO, Peninsula Family Service’s Got Wheels! and Filipino Senior Peer Counseling Program, HICAP, HPSM, Holy Child and St. Martin Episcopal Church, La Casa de las Madres, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo, PNANC, Rape Trauma Center, StarVista and Second Harvest of Silicon Valley deployed representatives to inform attendees of their services and programs to foster healthy and safe interaction in the home and beyond.
For more information, visit www.allicekumares.com.