Meeting with Legislators from Around the World (IPU)

I attended the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), where I am the Vice President of the Committee on Women Parliamentarians last April 29 to May 3 in Bali Indonesia. At the meeting of the Women parliamentarians, we discussed the effect of globalization and (1) how to empower women workers and entrepreneurs, and (2) improving working conditions for women.

I presented the situation in the Philippines- the high demand for our health workers, particularly our nurses and how this creates employment opportunities, but on the downside, results in brain drain, a health crisis and its negative impact on children with absentee parents.

I also discussed the growth of the ICT sector, including call centers in our country and how we can further strengthen the growth of this sector with relevant educational and training programs, with the hope that this would open more job opportunities for women. That’s me and Director Carmen Arceno.

In the IPU’s 2nd standing committee, I presented the Philippine experience where we continue to conduct interfaith dialogue on the national, regional and international level.

I also attended the meeting on global warming where various speakers and delegates expressed their opinions on the matter. I shared with some delegates my view that there is a need to distinguish the response and responsibility of developing countries from that of industrialized countries. Our lifestyles and industries are very different and although all nations must do their part to address global warming, certain countries must be accountable for the effects of GW which we are all experiencing.

On the lighter side, I got a chance to see a bit of Bali with my good friend Mona Valdes, who happens to be Indonesian. As you can see, we met a friendly monkey while visiting a hindu temple.

I also tried lots of super delicious Indonesian food, my favorites were esteler, which is like halo-halo, except made with fruits and coconut milk…

… and a specialty of the street vendors –martabak (and I’m probably not spelling that right) and Dutch pancake complete with condensed milk, grated cheese, chocolate and peanuts…which Mona said, put me back 1000 calories per serving!!!…After all that yummeee food, I was happy to go home.

For more details on the IPU, please visit my website at

6 comments on “Meeting with Legislators from Around the World (IPU)

  1. Hi, Pia: We had met very briefly at a wake for Lui-Joe in May 2000. I remember that you were with your mom. I’m Noemi Dado’s oldest sister, Lorna.

    I’m really glad that you decided to write a personal blog. I’m happy that you have a lot of women’s and girls’ issues and celebrations in mind. I fully support your ideas about the power of the Pinay.

    I’m a member of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations ( and the Filipina Women’s Network here in the US. That’s Taking Filipina women in America to the next level of leadership in their careers and vocations is what we do and aim for. We meet only twice a year: in the Spring, for one of our social justice projects (such as Vagina Monologues and Usaping Puki) and for a yearly summit in October. This year, we’re holding it in Washington DC.

    If you don’t mind, I’ll forward your blog’s link to the rest of the FWN membership and to my managing editor at Filipinas Magazine, Gemma Nemenzo.

    I’ve read your story about your grief. The book that you, Noemi, and other authors have written is a difficult one to read. At least, it was heartwrenching for me to read… At the same time, death is also a celebration of life. One of my favorite high lamas in Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Ole Nydahl, wrote recently about the death of his wife, Hannah: “She returned to space, timeless and beautiful.” That is how I would like to remember all our beloved ones who have gone on before us: “They returned to God and the Universe, timeless and beautiful!”

    Please keep up the good work! FYI: Our sister, Dr. Belen Dofitas (together with an old UP dormmate, Elvira Henares) is a breastfeeding advocate.

    Thank you for you who are and what you do. Keep speaking and implementing your truth. Continue being the enabler of “compassionate power” that you are!!!

    For people like you and my sister have every opportunity in this world to help people who feel disenfranchised and powerless — and help show them a world of immense beauty, abundance, and blessings.

    Very truly yours,


  2. Cindy Trinidad

    Dear Pia,

    You said: “I also discussed the growth of the ICT sector, including call centers in our country and how we can further strengthen the growth of this sector with relevant educational and training programs, with the hope that this would open more job opportunities for women.”

    I think this deserves another bonding session. I’d like to discuss this further with even just a short working meeting. Let me know when you have the time 🙂


  3. Pia S. Cayetano

    hi lorna, good to hear from you. sure, feel free to pass on my blog to the FWN. I would love to touch base with them. I will visi the website..Please stay in touch..Regarding our book, yeah, its really hard to go thru. But our hope is that it can help others thru their grief…as I have been helped by friends with common experiences…I God bless,

  4. Mona valdes

    Hay… I had so much fun in Bali..If only you got more chance to go out with me. But of course you’re there to work, i can’t complain the fact that you still allowed yourself being dragged around half sleeping on your rest time to go shopping and sight seeing. I owe you a better tour next time girl!

  5. Hi Pia!

    Just stopping by, referred here by Noemi from her own blog…

    We wanted you to know that we support Alan.

    And thank you for being such an inspiration to Filipinos, especially Filipino women..

  6. cathy_bythesea

    Hi Pia, welcome to the world of blogging! I’m sure you will enjoy this new form of media 🙂 and you are a most welcome addition because you have to so much to share. I’ve linked you to my midlife blog so it will be easier to visit from time to time. In fact, I will blog about this new blog of yours 🙂 See you soon! And I love the photos above – so glam!

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