Why Gov. Grace?

It’s…

…the way she goes back to the people.
…the way she empowers her subordinate.
…the way she makes transparency the consciousness in her capitol.
…her strong political will and well-thought of decisions.

It’s her qualities as an empowering, effective and ethical leader that inspires us. Her achievement as a Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service awardee can easily affirm the efforts she has already done. Let us show our clamor for her to run as president.

August 1, 2009
Launch of the Kayang-Kaya! Movement
Contact us for the event details

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Email: kayangkaya@gmail.com
Mobile No.: 0917-490-5135 (Ian) / 0917-854-5191 (Ralph)
Landline No.: 02-392-9028 (Ian) / 02-392-6741 (Ralph)

We are also accepting volunteers and contributions. :)
Volunteers may sign up HERE!

The 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is given to persons – regardless of race, nationality, creed or gender — who address issues of human development in Asia with courage and creativity, and in doing so have made contributions which have transformed their societies for the better.

Source: RMAF. “History”. Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. ND. http://www.rmaf.org.ph/index.php?task=3. Accessed July 26, 2009.

It is often regarded as Asia’s Nobel Prize.

Below is the citation for Gov. Grace Padaca when she received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2008.

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Elections are the central institution of Filipino democracy. As Governor Grace Padaca puts it, they give voters a chance “to get the wrong people out of government and the right people in.” In practice, however, Filipino elections are almost always contests for power among an elite few. In most provinces, a handful of families controls political power from one generation to the next. Everyone else may vote, but the choices are limited to a cast of all-too-familiar characters. Such was the case in Isabela Province when Governor Padaca launched her unlikely political career.
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Kailangan Ba?

Kung iiwan ko man ang Isabela, mayroong mga tumatawag sa akin sa posis yong nasyonal. Hindi lang sa Senado, hindi lang sa pagka-Pangalawang Pangulo. Ang tanong ko ay kailangan ba? Ang dami namang ibang pagpipilian. Sa amin sa Isabela noon ay wala kasing iba. Pero ngayon, sa pambansa, ay marami namang iba. Kailangan pa ba? – Grace Padaca

Kahit sana mas masaya ako sa aking nakasanayang simpleng buhay, iniwan ko pa rin ito, mahigit limang taon na ang nakakaraan, para pumasok sa masalimuot, mahirap at matrabahong mundo ng pamamahala.

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The Giant

Grace looks straight at the camera. The room is quiet. She tells her story, she says, again and again, to anyone who will listen. “It’s not always a happy ending, because the story is always continuing. It’s important to tell the story, because we have our own lives, our own lessons, and we can’t live each others’ lives to learn each others’ lessons.

“I am Grace Padaca. I share my story because I know there are many who are like me, not big people, not rich, not strong. I know there are many like me whose strength is inside.” – Patricia Evangelista, Inquirer

As it happens, I am sitting on the floor of a Makati hotel room, flush against a row of red and green cardboard boxes, each box marked and labeled and stuffed with printed pages and faxed letters and folders-within-folders. I am told the governor never travels the seven hours from Isabela without bringing along the workings of the capitol. There are newspapers piled haphazardly on a suitcase, along with four tissue-wrapped, beribboned bouquets the size of small trees blooming with white and orange and red, red blossoms. Adonis, my gaffer, sets up the redhead lights by the big open window. Fresh tapes are handed to the two men handling the cameras. I sit on my square of floor, beside coils of cable, and watch the small, smiling woman in the black-and-white striped T-shirt make her ungainly way across the room, her crutches making small round marks on the carpet.

She tells her story after the cameras begin rolling. Her name is Grace Padaca.

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‘Overwhelming Force’ to Save the Nation’s Last Great Forest

Perez said that after 16 years of work as a forest advocate, he was gratified that the most successful campaign of all was organized without foreign funding. “Tayo-tayo lang ito,” he said. He said that the critical factor was the leadership of Padaca. “She gave it moral force, will and credibility,” Perez said. Having known the activist through years of often frustrating anti-logging campaigning, I know that he doesn’t make that kind of assessment of politicians lightly. – Howie G. Severino, GMA News.TV

SAN MARIANO, Isabela — Seen from the air, the evidence was clear-cut.

Jagged roads running through the green mountainsides ended in ugly brown gashes — torn up ground that marked where trees once stood. In the rivers floated fleets of freshly cut logs. In assorted compounds lay vast piles of wood. It was a comprehensive aerial view of rampant illegal logging in the Northern Sierra Madre mountain range.

When I flew over this forest last year, I was with the provincial governor, Grace Padaca, her NGO allies, and military officers who took in the environmental destruction below with the determined gaze of war planners.

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Gov. Grace on Children of Light TV

Gov. Grace Padaca’s triumph in Isabela is compared to the biblical story of David’s victory over Goliath.

Huwag tayong matakot ipaglaban kung ano ang tama. Kung ano ‘yung tama, ‘wag natin itong ikahiya, wag natin itong ikatakot. Ang dapat mahiya at matakot sa atin ay iyong mga salbahe.

In her fearless pursuit of what is right, she even treads paths that are supposedly beyond what is asked of her as a governor.

“So ang ginagawa ko ngayon, kahit hindi ko dapat primary mandate ito, trabaho ito ng DENR… Pero hindi ko naman masasabi bilang gobernador na habang dumadaan sa amin ang mga trak trak ng kahoy na pinutol na illegal eh, ‘Ay, hindi ko trabaho ‘yan, trabaho ‘yan ng DENR.’ Eh Isabela ko ‘yan eh. Galing sa lalawigan namin…ang mga pinutol. Kami ang mamamatay dahil sa landslide. Kami ang mamamatay dahil sa tag-gutom…

So hindi pwedeng hindi kami kumilos.”

But her work did not just end with crusading against illegal logging activities: She is working to provide alternative livelihood opportunities for the over 12,000 families of the illegal loggers who lost their jobs. “I am working very hard… for a better life for them.”

This is what real, progressive, and sustainable progress looks like.

Part 1

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The Spark that Crippled a Dynasty

The victory of Padaca in the elections for governor of Isabela over reelectionist Dy Jr., may well be history repeating itself.  But the most difficult challenge facing Padaca at this point is how to preserve the victory of the people of Isabela.

What made her win?  What were the factors that led to the fall of the Dy dynasty in Isabela? – Dabet Castañeda, Bulatlat

Every morning for 14 years, almost every household in the province of Isabela anticipated the radio program of Grace Padaca at DZNC-Bombo Radyo.  But her most important announcement came in February 2004: She was running for governor against Faustino Dy Jr., the incumbent and head of the family that ruled the province during the last four decades.  When the ballots were counted, Grace Padaca emerged the winner and proved to be the spark that crippled the four-decade long Dy-nasty in Isabela.

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