THOSE in the Baguio community who know Sister Margarita Jamias, MM, are happy to know that she was one of the awardees at a ceremony recognizing ten outstanding women in the city on March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day, at the Baguio Convention Center. Sister Marge was recognized for her work in Ecology, Climate Change, Ecological Solid Waste Management and the Empowerment of Women.

Sister Marge is, of course, a Maryknoll Sister who is part of the Maryknoll mission in Baguio, dedicated to Peace, Justice, and the Integrity of Creation. The latter part of that translating partly into work on managing climate change, ecology, and the environment. What few people may know is that the mission is just as dedicated to the justice and peace component of things, and Sr. Marge is actually their Baguio point person for that.

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We mustn’t forget: it was Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda’s office that spearheaded aforementioned Baguio celebration of women. Neither must we neglect to acknowledge that it is a man who put together the nitty-gritty of the show – Mike Tabanda, who is his mother’s chief of staff.

Next week, Baguio will be visited by yet another outstanding woman. Her name is Yasmin Busran-Lao. She is a Muslim woman whose life has been dedicated to serving women, especially those marginalized by their Muslim religion. Peace building is high on her experience and agenda, and as a senatorial candidate, Baguio is on her stump schedule in the next few days.

I’ve always maintained that the senate needs a resident hag in Senator Defensor-Santiago, she of the legal sharpness and sharpness of tongue and wit. I’ve also always maintained that it needs a resident Muslim and a resident, ah, “progressive.” Busran-Lao comes highly recommended as the former, a quality candidate, so to speak, in the footsteps of the memorable Nina Rasul, even.

As for resident “progressive,” let’s tackle that in a bit.