Saturday, March 25, 2017

DO YOU know that what a man can do, a woman can do better?” The lady at the podium said it loud and clear.

She surveyed the audience with a captivating, charismatic smile. There was an equal representation of the sexes. The women clapped cheerfully. The men could only smile, while a few shook their heads disapprovingly.

That happened in a UPIC event years ago when UP Visayas was farthest in the horizon. UPIC or UP Iloilo College started with third and fourth year of high school and ended with first and second year of college. Often, it was off to UP Diliman for the rest of the undergrad.

Long intro. Anyway, the lady’s speech opener has become a constant with many a woman president of a club, organization/association. Eve’s female descendants could be occupying the topmost or any other position, for that matter. And most often, the woman is attested right by her accomplishments to the amazement of the male of the species. The woman did better than the man. Disagree? You may want to go into specifics but be ready to defend your stand.

Call it wishful thinking, but the touchy John and Jane, or even ornery Pepe and Pilar will take the side of the hands-on Three Wise Women against the impracticality of the Three Wise Men or Three Kings with regard to gifting the Babe in the manger. Who needs gold, incense, and myrrh?

I quoted in my column of March 8, International Women’s Day — what the Three Wise Women would have done. The tech world was explicit in praise of womankind:

 “Do you know what would have happened if there had been three wise WOMEN instead of three wise MEN?
“They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the Baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and given practical gifts.”

Full disclosure: In a pilgrimage tour of Jerusalem, Nov. 10-19, 2015, we went down to the stable where Jesus was born. Dark and dingy, it’s not a place you’d want to give birth to your own. Juxtaposed against the magnificent cathedrals and temples we had been to, the contrast was pathetic. I couldn’t help the tears.


A booster shot for womankind comes from the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), March 17, 2017 Bulletin. 50 GREAT WAYS TO LIVE LONGER is bannered on the cover. No. 40 has it down pat: FIND A WOMAN DOCTOR. The full quote: “When Harvard researchers in 2016 analyzed Medicare records documenting more than 1.5 million hospitalizations over four years, they found that patients who received care from a female physician were more likely to survive and less likely to be readmitted in the hospital within 30 days of discharge. In fact, about 33,000 fewer people would die each year “if male physicians achieved the same outcomes as female physicians ,” the researchers said. Previous studies have suggested that female doctors are more likely to follow clinical guidelines and are more effective communicators.” Kudos to my two doctor-daughters, internist Randy Raissa and pediatrician Raileen.

It’s still March, Women’s Month, and African-American activist Maya Angelou (1928- ) radiantly stands out in the flock. A writer of intense emotional poetry, she read one such poem during Bill Clinton’s inauguration as US President. Maya Angelou held the audience spellbound with her commanding stage presence, as she delivered Phenomenal Woman:


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies / I’m not cute or built to suit a model’s fashion size / But when I start to tell them / They think I’m telling lies. / I say… / It’s in the reach of my arms / The span of my hips / The stride of my steps / The curl of my lips. / I’m a woman / Phenomenally / Phenomenal woman / That’s me.
I walk into a room / Just as cool as you please / And to a man / The fellows stand or / Fall down on their knees / Then they swarm around me / A hive of honey bees. / I say… / It’s the fire in my eyes / And the flash of my teeth / The swing of my waist / And the joy in my feet. / I’m a woman / Phenomenal woman / That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered / What they see in me / They try so much / But they can’t touch / My inner mystery / When I try to show them / They say they still can’t see. / I say / It’s in the arch of my back / The sun of my smile / The ride of my breasts / The grace of my style. / I’m a woman / Phenomenally / Phenomenal woman / That’s me.

Now you understand / Just why my head’s not bowed / I don’t shout or jump about / Or have to talk real loud / When you see me passing / It ought to make you proud. / I say / It’s in the click of my heels / The bend of my hair / The palm of my hand / The need for my care. / ‘Cause I’m a woman / Phenomenally / Phenomenal woman / That’s me.


Poetic lines that speak volumes about Maya Angelou, a Phenomenal Woman. Is there anyone — man or woman— who can come up with his/her own stunning Phenomenal Man? I could write Phenomenal Man about my dear departed Rudy. A human rights lawyer, the hubby was phenomenal.



Julia Carreon-Lagoc was a columnist of PANAY NEWS for two decades. She pops up with Accents now and then./PN


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