MANILA, Philippines—In a symbolic action to show support for the Bangsamoro Basic Law and call for women’s inclusion in the peace process, students of Miriam College in Quezon City had their hair restyled on Monday to sport bangs.
“It’s a leap of faith for some women to get bangs because it’s your crowning glory,” said Jasmin Nario-Galace, national coordinator of Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (We Act 1325).
“It’s similar to the dilemma of Bangsamoro women to participate in the political process because of culture. Should I or should I not?” said Galace, who is also the executive director of Miriam’s Center for Peace Education.
The Bangs for Bangsamoro, part of We Act’s project to operationalize women’s agenda in the Bangsamoro, was held in time for the President’s State of the Nation Address and opening of Congress.
Galace said they were calling on President Aquino and the Congress to uphold women’s inclusion in the Bangsamoro state and make the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) reflective of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
University of the Philippines professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, the first woman to chair the government peace panel, joined the program and had her bangs trimmed.
When she addressed the crowd, Ferrer promised that the BBL would reflect the CAB.
“We’re not turning our backs on the agreement. The objective is to translate it into a law that everyone can defend and uphold,” she said.
“We know that this is not just for men, but also for women. Not just for Muslims, but for everyone regardless of religion. Not just for MILF, but for all political organizations seeking change through peaceful means,” Ferrer said.
Some students, like Natalia Baltao, had their hair colored instead of getting bangs.
“It’s also important for women to have choices. I don’t want to get bangs. But I want to show my support,” Baltao said.
The students even urged motorists on Katipunan Avenue to honk their horns to signify support.
Muslim children from the Maharlika Village in Taguig City presented a cultural dance.
Two students sang a mashup of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” and Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
Part of the lyrics goes: “Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out / Honestly I wanna see you be brave” and “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter / Dancing through the fire / ‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to relate to the issues in Mindanao, especially women’s issues,” said Francesca Sarenas, coordinator in Davao of Saligan (Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal).
“We’re glad that these young women are one with us in bangs and spirit as we push for an inclusive Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Sarenas said.