Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Laban Para Sa Mga Lola!

"World War II Comfort Women are the 200,000 girls and women abducted by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII forced to experience a life of systematic rape and enslavement. They are now mostly in their 80s and they are dying. They were taken from Korea, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Of the 200,000 women and girls abducted 1000 of them were Filipina and only 173 of them have come forward. That means your lola may be holding onto a painful and (to her) shameful experience. We need to demonstrate that this is a Fil-Am issue too, our lolas’ issues and our WW2 generation’s especially. If we want to represent the lolas, we’ve got to be a presence in the coalition."

The 121 Coalition was created to push the passage of House Resolution 121, introduced by Congressman Mike Honda. HR 121 calls upon Japan to apologize to the victims of "comfort stations." In light of recent comments by Japan Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, denying that comfort women were forced into slavery by the Japanese government during WWII, it is even more important to back survivors coming forward who have been silenced for all these years, nursing this shame.

Within the 121 Coalition, there are nearly 200 civic groups that are members. They are mostly campaigning for people to write to their Representative in Congress to co-sponsor the resolution. They are aiming for 120 co-sponsors. If you go to 121 Coalition's, website you will see dozens of Korean American Collectives and Organizations, however the Filipino American community needs to mobilize in order to clarify that this is not just a Korean American issue. Many stories of surviving Filipina comfort women can be found on M. Evelina Galang's website,, where through LILA Pilipina, she has met many of the remaining few.

Time is running out. The Lolas need our help. Here is what we can do:

  • Sign the online petition. It takes one minute:

  • Send your congress person an email, individually AND as an organization, supporting House Res 121. You can find that info here:

  • Make your Filipino community aware of this issue! Especially if you are in California: host briefings, film screenings, and contact M. Evelina Galang at , to see how you can best serve this cause!