21. Summary:Research in Philippines, 2012

In March, I visited the Philippines as my latest journey for the research. I first met Nelia Sancho, a coordinator of the *Lolas Kampanyera Survivor Organization (the Filipino "Comfort Women" Organization), who also served as my guide and translator.

Nelia took me to their display space for photos of Filipino "Comfort Women" activism and history, and I was also introduced to other activists.

According to Nelia Sancho, they estimate there were perhaps as many as 2,000 Filipino “Comfort Women.” 300-400 Filipino women survivors came out publicly and now, approximately 150 survivors are still living.

Next we took a taxi to *lola Julia Porras's home in Manila. Lola Julia was kind, but seemed fragile and her health was deteriorating. She was forced into sex slavery when she was 17 years old.

The following day, Nelia and I visited *lola Fedencia David's home, outside of Manila. I was happy to see that she was in good health. She remembered her experiences of wartime vividly. Born in a small town, she became a military sex slave at the age of 14. Despite her difficult life, Lola Fedencia was very vibrant, strong, and full of life.

*Lola means a grandma in Filipino.

The Philippines - from Google Maps

with Nelia Sancho(center) at the display space for photos of Filipino "Comfort Women" activism & history 

at lola Julia's home
at lola Fedencia David's home

Nelia translating the interview with lola Fedencia