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Unopposed for many reasons

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Not that she had it all figured out when she first filed for candidacy minus experience and a campaign plan 12 years ago or prior. 


"I wasn't really an achiever in school, remember," she nudged a former classmate from what was then named Maryknoll (now Miriam), a liberal college founded by progressive American nuns.


College ended abruptly after sophomore year when Joanne del Rosario eloped with the boyfriend who could not get her parents' approval. They were married for 13 years that brought her greatest joy with the birth of her son, giving hope her domestic issues would pass.  


Returning to New York, the youngest daughter of privilege got certified as an executive assistant, took two jobs, kept house, and mothered her child.  She took duty to heart, aching to make hers an ideal home by being perfect at everything.


She knows better now.


Her life started over with her move to Colma.  By then she had left her first marriage and found love in Rene Malimban, in whom she felt safe, respected, and encouraged to grow.


A reunion with a former classmate organizing a domestic violence event in 2007 sparked an epiphany.  She had never told anyone of her experience that she learned only then could help others find their voices and their freedom:  She was ready to share.  


Long before #metoo and Time's Up, del Rosario stood before strangers to remind them that anyone can end up in an abusive relationship if they get involved with someone who is abusive.  No education, wealth or power immunizes anyone who does not recognize signs for abusive behavior from walking into conflict.  


“Survivors keep their situation secret for fear of being blamed for their partners’ behavior.  They start believing the perpetrator’s constant criticism and accusations.  Their self-esteem is crushed,” del Rosario took a page from her own story.


In 2010, the Kumares & Kumpares or members of the all-volunteer nonprofit ALLICE Alliance for Community Empowerment  elected her president.  She drew from her influential network to engage Seton Medical Center, Lucky Chances and Moonstar to sponsor the nonprofit's twice yearly events to promote healthy interaction.  Her advocacy has resulted in the first Intimate Partner Violence Workshop commissioned by a town when Colma invited ALLICE clinical director and then- Equity & Diversity program director for the San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Dr. Jei Africa to facilitate.


"Joanne has raised the bar for commitment to our mission the same way she elevates public service," said ALLICE founding president Bettina Santos Yap.


Once again, Colma collaborated with ALLICE to stage the team's 14th annual Free From Violence Presentation and Resource Fair 5-7:30 pm, Friday, Oct. 12, at the Colma Community Center in collaboration with the Philippine Consulate General and AARS Healthright 360.


Philippine News, Philippines Today, Positively Filipino,, Holy Child & St. Martin Episcopal Church, Lucky Chances, Moonstar, Cafe Savini, Noah's Bagels, Hapag Filipino, Kuya's Asian Cuisine, Guy Guerrero, Philippine Association of University Women, Francis Espiritu, Kumare Elsa Agasid, Baby & Boy   Pastries, Kumare Ofie Albrecht, Bernard Simon Jr., Becca Schatz, Joaquin & Matias Moreno donated resources to stage the event free and open to the public.


"Knowing where to get help is key," said del Rosario, a recipient of District 5 Supervisor David Canepa's 2018 Outstanding Citizens for her efforts to prevent intimate partnership violence.  "That is why ALLICE invites resource providers to our events.  We collaborate with every sector of the community to support one another.  That's the heart of our mission."   



Columnist Cherie Querol Moreno is founder-executive director of ALLICE.  For information visit

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