Press Release: GABRIELA BC Launch


GABRIELA BC is here!

Official Launch

May 19 (Sunday), 2019

9:30am – 4:30pm

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House

800 E. Broadway, Vancouver

May 7, 2019–Filipino women from across generations, working at home or in various sectors and occupations, students, caregivers, and professionals in British Columbia will gather together to officially launch GABRIELA BC in Vancouver. It is the newest overseas chapter of the Philippines’ GABRIELA National Alliance of Women and joins the other chapters in many US cities, in Ontario and Alberta, Canada, and in Italy, Denmark and Germany.

To help launch the newest GABRIELA overseas chapter is Ms. Coni Ledesma, a member of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front-Philippines (NDFP) in the Peace Talks with the government of the Republic of the Philippines. She is also with the NDFP Special Office for the Protection of Children and the International Representative for MAKIBAKA, a revolutionary women’s movement in the Philippines. Formerly a nun, she left the church to work alongside peasant farmers, students, and the poor in the Philippines until becoming a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. She is now is a political refugee in the Netherlands.

GABRIELA stands for General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Education, Leadership, and Action in honour of Gabriela Silang, the Filipina revolutionary leader best known as the first Filipino woman to lead a movement for independence from Spain.

The Philippine’s GABRIELA National Alliance of Women is a grassroots-based alliance of more than 200 women’s  organizations, institutions, desks and programs that not only vigorously campaigns on women-specific issues such as women’s rights, gender discrimination, and violence against women, but also wages a struggle for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and of the people. GABRIELA is also at the forefront of national and international economic and political issues that affect women. GABRIELA BC is therefore an extension of the Filipino women’s mass movement in Canada, which is home to the fourth largest visible immigrant community.

Erie Maestro, Chair of the Migrante BC Board said, “We have seen how the Migrante Women’s Organizing Committee has worked hard to be able to launch itself as an independent and comprehensive Filipinx women’s organization. GABRIELA will continue to be a voice for Filipinx women to rise, resist and unite. This is a happy moment for all of us! “

GABRIELA BC welcomes people from all communities to join its official launch. Everyone is encouraged to register here:

For more information, please contact or visit our Facebook event page at

Media contact

Danelle Ortiz, GABRIELA BC Organizing Member

Phone: 604-262-7796

GABRIELA BC is officially launching on May 19!

What: GABRIELA BC Official Launch
When: May 19 (Sunday, 2019)
Doors open for registration check-in at 9:30am
Program from 10:00am-4:30pm
Where: Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 800 E Broadway, Vancouver
Registration (mandatory): Early-bird (last day May 11) $20, May 12-May 17 $30

[Facebook event page]

GABRIELA BC, an anti-imperialist grassroots women’s organization, invites all allies to its official launch on MAY 19, 2019. Beginning as a women’s organizing committee within Migrante BC, a grassroots organization working to protect the rights and welfare of Filipino migrants & immigrants, the founding members of GABRIELA BC decided to form an independent organization focusing on a broader sector of women. Following about a year of community events, educational workshops, and planning, the launch on May 19 is an opportunity for allies, friends, and potential members to learn about our work.

Given the worsening situation for human rights in the Philippines, Filipino women all over the world must speak up now more than ever. GABRIELA BC’s work and political analysis focuses on the specific and systemic socio-economic conditions that women in the Philippines face regularly. With an official launch, supporters can learn more about the general situation for women in the Philippines, learn about the National Democratic movement’s people-led solution to the root causes of exploitation, and GABRIELA’s work here in BC and internationally to liberate women and build genuine people’s democracy.

GABRIELA BC is proud to have Coni Ledesma, the peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and international representative for MAKIBAKA, as the keynote speaker for the launch. After uniting with striking farmworkers as a nun, she left the church to dedicate her life to serving workers, peasants, and the poor. She will be sharing her experiences as a woman organizing in revolutionary mass movements in the Philippines.

We invite all those who support and/or want to learn more about the national democratic struggle of women in the Philippines to attend the launch. We welcome people from all nationalities and genders.

Please do not hesitate to message us on Facebook or email us at with your questions and concerns.


We stand in solidarity with Indigenous struggles and movements on so-called British Columbia and everywhere on Turtle Island. We gratefully acknowledge that our work takes place on the unceded and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

GABRIELA BC is a militant and anti-imperialist Filipino women’s organization committed to continuing the ongoing struggle for justice and liberation of all women and for national democracy in the Philippines. We extend our support and solidarity to other organizations and communities fighting against oppression and exploitation.

Accessibility information for the venue TBA.

Our work as GABRIELA BC is committed to liberation and justice for all Filipinos who identify as women or non-binary. We will not tolerate hateful attitudes and ideas such as but not limited to transmisogyny/transphobia, racism, and ableism. We expect all attendees and hosts to be respectful at all times.

Registration fees are to help GABRIELA BC cover operational costs, venue rental, and the breakfast and lunch we will be serving to attendees on the day of the event. Please contact us if you have special concerns.

GABRIELA Info Session

GABRIELA BC Info Session

Tuesday, October 23

6:30pm – 8:00pm

Bahay Migrante, 4794 Fraser St.


Facebook event page (RSVP)

GABRIELA BC invites all Filipino women to our upcoming info session on who we are, what we do, and how we can all build collective power as a community of women. We will share our history, actions, and upcoming political campaigns, as well as provide ways for women to connect with us and get involved.

We are a grassroots Filipino women’s organization committed to continuing the ongoing struggle for liberation of all women and for national democracy in the Philippines. We extend our support and solidarity to other organizations and communities fighting against oppression and exploitation. Together, we envision a world where we exist, live, and thrive in dignity and peace.

We will be speaking on GABRIELA’s national history in the Philippines, why and how our members began a chapter in BC, our objectives as a women’s organization, and our basis of unity. We will also open up a discussion on our social, economic, and cultural positions as Filipino women in the diaspora in Canada; how we can reconnect with our roots back home in politically active ways; and how we can build a stronger local and global community that supports and empowers one another.

We will not tolerate any transphobia or other hateful and exclusive behaviour. The info session area in this venue is wheel chair accessible but the bathroom is not.

This workshop is taking place on unceded and stolen Coast Salish territories, specifically the səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) First Nations.


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