Latest Stories

Filipinas trek to CA state capitol for empowerment training


Mona Pasquil, California secretary of appointments.

SACRAMENTO, California—A busload of Filipino American women and their supporters in late March took to the State Capitol to get firsthand “empowerment” training” and meet sympathetic legislators in celebration of National Women’s History Month.

With the theme “Filipinas Rising in Heels: Where are all the Filipina Women in Politics and Public Service?” the Filipino Women’s Network bused its members to meet Mona Pasquil, appointments secretary under Gov. Jerry Brown, and who also served as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of California, in 2010.

They were also introduced to the newly elected and to the first Filipino American to serve in the California State Assembly, Atty. Rob Bonta. An enthusiastic staff of Senator Leland Yee, led by Melissa Ann Apuya, led the delegation to the senator’s office.

Pasquil plied the women with pointers on how to empower Filipino women through appointments to the different State Boards and Commissions in a special session called “Appointments Workshop Overview.”

Lessons in getting power

“You need to learn how to get appointed to State Boards and Commissions, and how to get elected,” Pasquil instructed, going through a step-by-step process on how to locate vacancies, apply online for appointment opportunities and follow up on applications.

She gave the group a list of current Board and Commission vacancies in California. “This list gets updated every week, so you should be very conscientious in your search,” she added.

Pasquil also explained the value of letters of recommendation then, just like any classroom educator, surprised everyone by asking, “Who is interested for an appointment and in what area?” She then went around the room and convinced each volunteer to go through the application process.

“You should seize every opportunity to do it,” she added, also stressing the importance of honesty in the applications. “Don’t put just the good things,” she advised.

“Everything has to be out. We know life happens. When we are asked about something that is not in the application or we don’t know about, it can become very difficult,” she warned.

“This is a significant leadership coaching lesson from Ms. Pasquil,” stated one FWN member. “Truly, Mona should really be celebrated as a Filipino American Leadership Architect.“

Meeting legislators

After the session, Senator Leland Yee, a long-time ally and advocate of Filipino Americans, introduced FWN and its leader, Marily Mondejar, to the Senate Hall. “I have always been impressed by the leadership of Filipino Americans,” Yee stated, I’m really excited to continue this work with you, especially in the area of domestic violence,” he added.

Next stop was a visit to the office of the newly elected Atty. Rob Bonta, first Filipino American elected to the California State Assembly. Pasquil declared, “Rob is the newest star amongst the Filipino American leadership architects.”

Representing District 18, Rob Bonta proudly told the group that his election is not just representing District 18 alone. “As the first Filipino American elected to the California State Assembly, I am excited to have the opportunity to provide a voice for the Filipino American community.”

Bonta explained his pet bill at the moment AB123, which add the teaching of the Filipinos’ role in the history of the farm worker movement: “Our community has a long history of significant contributions to America, especially California; yet, our contributions have been historically underemphasized in the story of our State”

He reiterated that AB 123 is very close to his heart. “I was raised at the United Farm Workers headquarters in La Paz, California, where my parents organized farm workers alongside the leadership of the movement. My parents raised me to value public service and encouraged me to give back to the community. I am proud to be a product of California’s great public schools.”

“That’s why we are so proud of you, Rob!” Ruth Asmundson, former Mayor of the City Davis, California quickly responded.

Bonta chairs the committee on public employees, retirement and social security and belongs to the banking and finance, health, transportation and the elections and redistricting committees.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: civil rights , Filipina American women , gender equality , Politics , state legislature

  • Martin

    All just a huge exercise of central state wasting of taxes, taxes paid for by 70% MALES, using “domestic violence” and other toxic victimhoods. These groups need to manufacture more and more victims to raise more and more government cash.
    Filpinas who move thousands of miles to work in other countries, often alone, do NOT need some government oficial lecturing them about “empowerment”.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Avalanche sweeps Everest; 6 killed, 9 missing
  • Captain not at helm of capsized Korean ferry–probers
  • 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday
  • Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez
  • MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace