Bersama-sama Project: Philippines

Sexual Violence + the Philippines

According to the Philippines-based Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), “one woman or child is raped every hour.” [1]

Philippines: Land & People

The Philippines, composed of 7,100 islands, is located in Southeast Asia.  It is a former colony of Spain and the United States.  In 1898, the United States became an imperial power after the Spanish-American War when it acquired Spanish colonies in the Pacific and in the Caribbean – Cuba, Philippines, and the Marianas.  The Philippines was a colony of the United States from 1898 to 1946, but the relationship of the Philippines and the United States continued despite the U.S. giving the Philippines its independence after World War II.  The continued U.S. presence in the Philippines after WWII was visible in the former U.S. military bases in the Philippines.   This military presence resulted in the establishment of the sex trade near Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base.  In addition, Filipino men were recruited to join the U.S. military, in particular, the U.S. Navy.  Filipino men also migrated to the United States as farmworkers and cannery workers in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska in the early 1900s. In the 1960s, Filipina women arrived in the United States as nurses or the wives of military men.  Migration of Filipinos and Filipinas to the U.S. continues, and there are 4.0 million Filipinos in the U.S. according to the 2017 census – the third largest Asian population.

Local Community Partners

Moro People’s Core is NAPIESV’s main partner in the Philippines in its work with the Muslim communities in the Philippines, with NAPIESV supporting Moro People’s Core work in North Cotabato.

Rochelle Arayata-Aguilar and Pam Pangilinan are NAPIESV’s two local staff and are based in Angeles, Pampanga. They will do the initial research on sexual violence and the sex trade in the Philippines.

We will post photos, blogs and podcast regarding our work in the Philippines, in the future.



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