Raquel Edralin was born in Manila but spent most of her childhood in Mindanao because her father was assigned there with the Bureau of Lands. Her mother was a nurse and a traditional wife and mother but she was a strong woman who raised eight children.
Raquel, known as Rock to friends, studied for an AB Psychology degree at the University of the Philippines. In the late 1960s, she joined the militant Kabataang Makabayan and became involved in anti-Marcos activities, often a frontliner at rallies and demonstrations. She helped organize the first women workers’ unions in 1970.
When martial law was declared, Raquel found her name in the wanted list and she decided to quit her studies and go underground. Later, she was captured, together with husband Rigoberto Tiglao, and then charged with sedition and rebellion. The couple, together with their daughter Ria, was kept in prison for almost two years at Fort Bonifacio. After their release, they were placed under house arrest. Rock tried to resume her studies in UP but the constant military surveillance bothered her. She quit college a second time.
She went on organizing communities, and providing counseling and keeping in touch with her activists friends. In the early 1980s, she helped put up a community daycare center for children of political activists, becoming its chief officer for two years. She gave Lamaze childbirth instructions to couples.
Rock took up women’s rights issues when the women’s movement saw a resurgence in the 1980s. She took courses in psychology and women’s studies in Harvard, joining husband Bobi who won a Harvard fellowship in 1987. She surveyed battered women’s centers in the US and did an internship at the Boston Public Health and Hospitals and exposures at New York hospitals to develop protocols for battered women and rape survivors. She trained in feminist counseling.
When she returned to the Philippines, she helped put up a women’s center, intended for military rape survivors. Rock became the center’s consultant and trainor, and later executive director for ten years. She steered the Women’s Crisis Center into the country’s premier hospital-based and crisis-care facility for women victims-survivors of gender-based violence.
She spent the rest of her life dedicated to pursuing women’s issues and concerns. She died in 2001 after a long battle with cancer.
Parents : Leo Edralin and Teresa Aricheta
Spouse : Rigoberto Tiglao
Children : Andrea Raquel, Alexandro Kalayaan, and Ben Siddharta
Education : College – University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, AB Psychology