As the city continues to advocate for gender equality and empowerment of women, the City of Valenzuela conducts culminating activity, particularly a dance competition participated by Valenzuelanos of all genders to conclude the celebration of 2023 Women’s Month at ALERT Multi-purpose Hall, Barangay Malinta, March 29.
The local government’s City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO), specifically headed by the Women and Family Welfare Unit and Gender and Development Unit (GAD), in collaboration with Pamantasan Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV), facilitated culminating activities that marked the finale of the month-long observance of 2023 Women’s Month with the theme, “We for Gender Equality and Inclusive Society #WeCanBeEquALL”.
To formally open the program, DILG City Director, Ms. Sudi Valencia, offered words of welcome to all of the participants and left a significant reminder to be an inspiration to everyone. Alongside this, the Chief of Social Welfare Operations, Ms. Dorothy G. Evangelista, extended her gratitude to the staff and the participants for the successful implementation of the event. She also recognized the efforts made by the social workers and employees to participate in the said event as they fulfilled their respective duties. She said, “The mere fact na you went out of your way para mag-practice, mag-buo ng isang TikTok, ang laking effort na po iyan.” [The mere fact that you went out of your way to practice and create a TikTok dance; that already required a great effort.]
The board of judges for the competition included Mayoress Tiffany Gatchalian, Ms. Dorothy G. Evangelista; the faculty of Communication of PLV, Mr. Christian Bautista; the president of Gen. T. de Leon Women’s Club, Ms. Sheila Caiña; legislative officer, Mr. Gregorio Nicolas; the director of PLV Office of the Community Engagement and Extension Services, Mr. Eduardo Andaya; and the supervising head of the Governance Tours and Events Unit of City Government of Valenzuela, Ms. Eunice Serrano.
The festivities consisted of an interpretative dance competition that was divided into two categories namely “Dance Challenge: Men’s Edition”, for male participants, and “Girlstok” for female participants. LGBTQIA+ participants were also welcomed in both categories. The dance performers of each group were composed of city and barangay employees and personnel from barangays Marulas, Veinte Reales, Arkong Bato, Ugong, Paso de Blas, Punturin, Tagalag, Mapulang Lupa, and Pariancillo Villa for the “Girlstok” portion. On the other hand, participants from the General Services Office, Bureau of Fire Protection of Valenzuela, Valenzuela City Command and Coordinating Council, Valenzuela City Police Station, and Polo Area Youth Organization took part in the men’s edition.
This vibrant and meaningful program was conducted not only for the purpose of showcasing the Valenzuelano talent but also as a celebration of women and empowerment of all genders altogether, advocating an equal and inclusive society. Encapsulating the theme, most of the performed dances commentate on societal issues that women often face such as discrimination and violence and exhibit the capabilities of a woman to take on many roles and challenges. Not only women’s empowerment was highlighted, but also the promotion of rights of the LGBTQIA+ community peaked their performances.
Concluding the event, Barangay Paso de Blas bagged the championship; followed by Barangay Mapulang Lupa as the 1st runner-up, and Barangay Tagalag as the 2nd runner-up for the Girlstok category. The Valenzuela City Police Station also dominated the men’s edition as the reigning champion; succeeded by Polo Area Youth Organization as 1st runner-up and the Bureau of Fire Protection of Valenzuela as 2nd runner-up.
As Women’s Month comes to a close, the city ensures that magnifying women and LGBTQIA+ rights do not end there—it is a continuous venture. Building a progressive city with an inclusive society shall remain as one of Valenzuela City’s greatest pursuits.