DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 08 January) – A former senator from Sulu is this year’s recipient of the Tandang Sora Award in Quezon City.
The 88-year old Santanina Tillah Rasul, founding chair of the Magbassa Kita Foundation, the first and only Moro woman to be elected as Senator was conferred the award for Quezon City’s outstanding women.
The award is named in honor of national hero Melchora Aquino, who was popularly referred to as “Tandang Sora” as she participated in the Philippine revolution in the 1890s even as she was already in her late 70s then.
Quezon City Administrator Aldrin Cuña said the award is given to Quezon City’s outstanding women who embody the seven virtues of Tandang Sora: katapatan (honesty), kasipagan (industry), paglilingkod (service), palabra de honor (word of honor), kagandahang loob (kindness), mapagmalasakit (caring), and pagkalinga (protectiveness).
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Quezon City Mayor Adelina Rodriquez, and journalist Tina Monzon-Palma are among the previous awardees.
Amina Rasul-Bernardo, President of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, accepted the award on behalf of her mother during the conferment rites at the Tandang Sora National Shrine in Barangay Tandang Sora on January 6, the 207th birth anniversary of Tandang Sora.
Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte cited the former senator’s outstanding contributions to the country as the reason why she is this year’s awardee.
Rasul authored Republic Act 6949, the law recognizing March 8 each year as National Women’s Day in the Philippines and Republic Act 7192 or the Women in Development and Nation Building Act of 1995. RA 7192 opened the doors of the Philippine Military Academy to women.
Rasul also advocated for the allocation of government funds for programs that would benefit and develop women’s capabilities.
She was a public-school teacher in 1952 and later held key positions in government such as Commissioner of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) from 1976 to 1985, UNESCO Philippine Commission (1986-1989), and member of the Textbook Board, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports in 1986.
She was elected Senator in 1987 and re-elected in 1992. (MindaNews)