Just 7 Badass Filipino Women We Can All Look Up To
Being a woman is certainly not easy, not even in the Philippines, which is supposedly the best place in Asia for women. Between misogynist politicians, unequal laws, and outdated but still rampant attitudes towards how women should dress and act, Filipino women still have a lot to contend with on a daily basis.
So what’s an angry, frustrated Pinay to do when the slut-shaming, victim-blaming, and general misogyny just become too much to bear? You can always take inspiration from these badass Filipino women. After all, if they can crush the patriarchy, so can you.
1Sen. Risa Hontiveros
These days, politicians we can trust are few and far between. Sen. Risa Hontiveros is one of the few. The senator is currently pushing for three bills that protect people from online attacks, rape, and sexual harassment. She has also bravely spoken out against the bloody “Oplan Tokhang” and filed a bill that seeks to give drug users medical treatment instead of punishing them. Evidently, Sen. Hontiveros has been tireless in her work as a lawmaker, which is more than we can say for a lot of her colleagues in Senate. Did we mention we’re not even a year into her first term?
In a country full of natural wonders that need protecting, the role of Environment Secretary is no easy task. Lucky for us that it should fall on Gina Lopez’s fearless shoulders. Her recent audit of mining sites has seen her take down almost an entire industry. Her take-no-prisoners approach has no doubt made her an enemy of some very powerful people. Still, amid opponents, critics, and threats, Sec. Lopez shows no signs of giving up. In Gina Lopez we trust.
As Netflix’s director for Video Algorithms, this Filipina engineer leads the team of engineers who make the software that powers everyone’s favorite streaming service. Yes, folks, one of the people who ensure that Netflix stays pure and holy and wonderful is a Filipina. As if that isn’t badass enough, Aaron was included in Business Insider’s list of 43 Most Powerful Female Engineers of 2017.
The Philippine Military Academy has without a doubt always been a male-dominated field, but Filipino women are at the top of this year’s graduating class. That includes valedictorian Rovi Martinez. Martinez, who will be joining the Navy, is only the second female PMA valedictorian since the academy started accepting women in 1993. She will be receiving the Presidential Saber from President Duterte at the upcoming PMA graduation rites. She was in the middle of pursuing an accountancy degree when she decided instead to enter the PMA to make her father’s dream come true. Badass and a loving daughter—we love it.
Irish Dizon is a writer whose work has been published in major broadsheets and magazines everywhere. Dizon became the voice of millennials when she clapped back at blogger Mocha Uson in a viral post. Blogger Uson unfairly criticized vice president Leni Robredo for not reading her blog. Of course, Dizon had to put her in her place. Her weapon of choice? A witty Facebook post. As expected, going viral on social media put her at the mercy of trolls. Still, that hasn’t stopped the outspoken writer, who continues to call out the crazies on social media.
6Rep. Geraldine Roman
While her vote on the death penalty has inflamed the public, it cannot be denied that at the beginning of her term Rep. Geraldine Roman has made history. As the first transgender woman to be elected to Congress, she has vocally advocated an anti-discrimination platform. She (along with Sen. Hontiveros) also gave Sen. Manny Pacquiao a much-deserved lesson in lawmaking 101. At a hearing for a proposed anti-discrimination bill, Roman responded to Bible-toting Pacquiao, saying that the basis of our laws is the Constitution, not the holy book. She has recently come under fire for citing “politics” as a reason behind her “yes” vote on the death penalty, but she continues to inspire her most dedicated followers.
Her smize alone can slay the patriarchy, but Pia Wurtzbach has done more than that. Over her reign, our favorite queen has always been a great role model for Filipina women everywhere. Just by being her candid, confident(ly beautiful) self, Wurtzbach proves that no woman should ever be ashamed of her looks, her body, or her confidence.
As we celebrate International Women’s Month, we can’t help but confront the inequalities that women continue to face. Being a woman is nothing if not tiring. But as these Filipino women prove, it’s also kind of amazing.