Actress Jennylyn Mercado was given an Award of Recognition by Gabriela, a party promoting the rights of marginalized women in the Philippines, on her fan's day in Del Monte, Bulacan, on May 14, PEP.ph reports. Jen, who turned 25 on the 15th, is now an honorary member of the group. According to Gabriela secretary-general Lana Liban, Jen will serve as an inspiration to abused women who don't speak up about what the trials they're undergoing.

Jen expressed her own thoughts on women suffering abuse at the event. "Marami din na tumatahimik lang talaga at tinitiis na lang (Many [women] just stay quiet and endure what they're going through)," she is quoted as saying. "Siguro sa pagsasalita ko sana ma-realize nila na dapat lumaban, na puwedeng humingi ng tulong sa Gabriela. (Hopefully, because I spoke up, they will realize that they should fight and that they can ask for help from Gabriela.)" Jennylyn is no stranger to such experiences, having undergone abuse when she was young and again in the fight that triggered her breakup with actor Dennis Trillo.

Para sa akin, malaking tulong ang pagpapalakas ng loob at pagbibigay ng suporta (For me, giving them strength and supporting them is a big help) ," she added. "Kasi naging part din ako nun ng pang-aabuso sa kababaihan, at naramdaman ko kung ano ang nararamdaman nila. (Because I've also suffered abuse [against women], and I've felt what they felt.)"

Jennylyn plans to help counsel women who have undergone abuse. "Malaking tulong talaga yung counseling, e (Counseling is a really big help)," she explained. "Sa akin, napagdaanan ko yun, at napakalaking bagay para sa mga tao na may pinagdadaanan. (I went through this as well, and it's a big thing for people who are also undergoing trials.)"


(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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