By DAWN CECILIA PEÑA
MANILA – Two women were recognized as “trailblazers of change” in the 15th Hildegarde Awards for Media and Communication held May 7.
Therese “Gang” Badoy-Capati, founder of Rock Ed Philippines, was praised for her mental health wellness initiative while Marianne “Maan” Hontiveros was recognized for her contributions in the liberation of People’s Television 4 during the first People Power uprising that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“The present administration has a tendency to make citizens feel very very lost. So I have an existential feeling somewhere. So I really want to say thank you to St. Scholastica’s Mass Communication [Department], for giving me this award for all the work many other people help me do, because I feel a little less homesick,” Badoy- Capati said in her speech organized by the Communication Department of St. Scholastica’s College – Manila.
Promoting critical thinking
Badoy-Capati, a radio and television host, and entrepreneur, founded Rock Ed Philippines in 2005 to host social studies education and social awareness through rock culture appreciation. Alternative education classes in music, arts, poetry, sports, photography, literature, film, theatre, and dance were offered by celebrities, musicians, poets, artists, entrepreneurs, and writers who serve as substitute teachers.
“I thought I’d start Rock Ed Philippines, which is a youth movement, where my main purpose was to encourage the young Filipino to ask questions. You should ask questions. I don’t know if you want to rally, I don’t know if you want to hoist protests, I don’t know if you want to be in the opposition or be in government, I don’t know that. But, I do know, everything sensible – in terms of socio-civic engagement, starts with good questions,” Badoy-Capati said.
Years after, Badoy-Capati, an Art History major, looked into how art can support those with mental challenges and behavioral disorders. She started Project: Steady in 2018 as a well-being program and guided creative therapy for adults and teenagers. Sessions include art, music, creative writing, stress-reduction to manage post-traumatic stress disorder, and trauma-informed wellness plans.
Today, Badoy-Capati is vocal in calling out the Duterte administration, particularly on its human rights record and COVID-19 response, through her social media platforms. She is not to be confused with her sister, Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, who has been repeatedly banned from Facebook due to her red-tagging posts.
To be clear, this is me on survival mode, opening a cyber payong to protect me from online tae-hurling. It can get tiring sometimes. I usually can hack it- but today, I’m tired, so get off me please, I am not Lorraine. Mag Google naman tayo, please. Thanks. https://t.co/uM2nJC5Kxd
— Gang Capati ?? (@gangbadoy) April 23, 2021
Badoy-Capati studied at the grade school department of St. Scholastica’s College – Manila and graduated in 1985.
Standing up for truth and freedom
Hontiveros, a CEO of airlines company and former television host, was among those who took over the government’s Channel 4 to cut-off Marcos mid-sentence on-air as he sought to disprove rumors that he had fled the country.
“So there we were ducking behind walls, and we waited until the rebel forces were able to take over the TV station. I got in, talked to the engineers and fired up the transmitter. We went on the air, that was a very visible role that just happened by chance, by happenstance. I should not have been in Channel 4, I should have been in Radyo Bandido, but something moved me there and I just did what I felt I could do best,” Hontiveros recalled.
She then received the Outstanding Achievement for Public Service by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the work she has done in liberating People’s Television 4.
“They think that women are softer and that’s been proven wrong time and time again. So, I think the toughest challenge really was to be taken seriously and not to be looked upon as ‘oh, she’s, that’s a woman,’ tip-toe around her or just sideline her,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros graduated in 1970 with a degree in English at St. Scholastica’s College – Manila. She also took a degree in music and majored in Classical Guitar Performance.
Rebecca Padilla-Marquez, coordinator of the Communication Department, said the two awardees “are women that our youth can learn from.”
“It is now, more than ever, that we need change makers – a new breed of trailblazers of change…The courage, strength, commitment, and social responsibility are values radiating from our awardees that serve to inspire everyone,” Padilla-Marquez said.
Being a steward of the environment
This year’s trophy, titled “Vision of Divine Love”, was designed by another Scholastican alumna Wilhelmina Garcia. The trophy was inspired by a romanesque painting of St. Hildegarde of the same name. Garcia worked with women from a partner community in Taal, Batangas where they worked with reclaimed wood and foil packaging to create the trophy.
“Ever since, I’ve been into green interiors and upcycling. Since then, I have been experimenting with different green finishes for interiors. It opened a lot of opportunities aside from interior design. I’ve been doing sculptural pieces for different organizations,” Garcia explained in her speech.
Garcia, also a Scholastican, is an interior designer by profession, and the founder of Junk Not! Creatives – a home furnishing company that upcycles plastic waste and raw materials into sustainable and functional furniture.
“The brand of my design firm is ‘stewards of the environment’. Hopefully, I can expand and work with more communities, so they can work sustainably within their own communities,” Garcia continued.
The Hildegarde Awards was established in 2007 as an avenue to recognize and give tribute to women in the fields of print journalism, broadcast journalism, advertising, and development communication, following St. Hildegarde’s tradition of courage and vision.