Joanne Alcantara, Chair, Pinay sa Seattle – GABRIELA USA

Nanay Muna! Filipina Americans Honor All Mothers
by Standing for Universal Healthcare and Calling for an End to NAFTA

Seattle, WA. On May 16th, Pinay sa Seattle-GABRIELA USA, a Filipino women’s organization, will be hosting an event called “Nanay Muna” (Tagalog for Mothers First). The event will be an informal brunch for Filipino families and community supporters in celebration of Mother’s Day. “Nanay Muna” will also serve as a build-up event for the May 30th Rally and March “Healthcare for All in 2009 – Mothers Leading the Way!”

Filipino women and mothers are often most visible in the public eye as nurses and caregivers in hospitals, clinics and senior care facilities. The National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) found that in the United States, Filipino women are over-represented in the health care field. However, their statistics also reveal that over 20% of Filipinos lack health insurance. The high rate of uninsured Filipino Americans may also have to do with the large population of undocumented Filipinos who are ineligible for many social programs, including health care.

While the country turns its eye on the swine flu, Pinay sa Seattle-GABRIELA USA urges the community to take a close and critical look at the epidemic’s root causes. According to the Organic Consumers Association, the virus is likely the result of environmental waste created by Smithfield Farms, the world’s largest pork producer. Under NAFTA, Smithfield Farms, a US-based multinational corporation, was able to relocate its production from the United States to Mexico, skirting U.S. environmental and labor laws while creating the toxic conditions that likely led to the swine flu outbreak. Through NAFTA, privatization of health and social services has also increased in Mexico, making it more difficult for many to access basic health care.

On May 30th at 12:30pm in Pratt Park (20th Ave S & E Yesler Way, Seattle WA 98144) Pinay sa Seattle-GABRIELA USA will march with over a hundred other organizations to call for universal healthcare for all. With women and mothers leading the way, we will fight for the health and well-being of all our families and communities, as well as an end to NAFTA and all unfair trade agreements. To RSVP for Nanay Muna or march with Pinay sa Seattle-GABRIELA USA on May 30th, please contact

Nanay Muna! (Mothers First!)
YES to Universal Healthcare for All!